Posted by: Elementary Property Inspections |

Making certain that your pipes do not freeze during winter can save a lot of money and headaches.

So, you’ve decided to put your home on the market this winter. The house is staged, you have showings scheduled, and you are sure you’ll close on a deal in time to move into your next home. Everything is going as planned….until.…your real estate agent calls you to let you know that your house is flooded due to burst pipes. UGH! What NOW?!?

Unfortunately, this does happen and could happen to you if you don’t take the necessary precautions.

One of the biggest issues during winter are water pipes freezing. Frozen pipes can be a serious problem if they do burst and — depending on the damage — can cost quite a bit to fix and create a mold outbreak in the home.

Obviously, the best way of avoiding frozen water pipes is learning what to do to prevent it from happening in the first place.

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1. Insulate Water Pipes Whenever Possible: One major step in preventing frozen pipes is to ensure your pipes have some type of insulation. You can purchase foam pipe insulation covers from any hardware store. In a pinch, you can also wrap old blankets or even newspaper around the pipes. As an added bonus, insulating your pipes properly will also help cut energy costs for heating water overall.

2. Disconnect All Outside Hoses and Water Lines: This is especially important. Shut off outside water lines that won’t be used until spring. Make certain to shut them off from the inside shut off, and open the tap outside to drain the line. Don’t forget to empty out the hoses as well.

Also, even if you don’t have outside water lines to worry about, at least know how to shut off the water line in your home. This will be important if a pipe does burst in your home.

3. Keep House Warm Even If You’re Away: It is usually recommended to drop your house’s temperature if you’re away for the holidays during winter. Doing so helps your home heating bill but can spell disaster for areas that freeze. The last thing you want is for your pipes to freeze and possibly burst when you aren’t even home to deal with it. Try to keep your house at a minimum of 16 C when you are away.

4. Keep Cupboards Open for Air Circulation: Another tip that works when you are home or away is keeping open bathroom and kitchen cupboards if possible. Doing this will help warm air in your home reach the pipes easier.

5. Use a Space Heater for Very Cold Winters: If you’ve had past issues with freezing pipes or recently moved to an area that gets exceptionally cold, have a space heater or two on hand as a preventative measure. You probably won’t have to run the heater the entire winter but rather use it on very cold days. It is also important to have an extra space heater on hand if pipes do freeze, as you’ll see below.

6. Let Faucets Drip: This seems odd but works very well as a short-term fix. It is more difficult for pipes to freeze if the water is moving, even if slowly. At night or on extremely cold days turn on the faucet just until it begins dripping water. Aside from preventing frozen pipes it also will alert you if pipes are starting to freeze. Be aware that this method also runs the risk of the drains freezing, so use as a last resort.

When buying or selling a home, always be prepared. In the event that something, like a busted pipe should occur, a great agent will be there for you in your time of need. For all of your home inspection needs contact Elementary Property Inspections or 289-686-9482.