People who live in areas of colder climate have more than likely experienced the misfortune of having a frozen, or busted pipe. Home owners and renters have exposed pipes that need extra care when it comes to winterizing to protect pipes from the extreme cold. Some people are falsely misled into thinking that a busted pipe cannot happen to them. Sometimes, even homes that have been under pinned cannot prevent pipes from freezing. If the home sits high on a foundation with open spaces, these pipes can freeze also. Taking care of pipes and preparing for the cold weather is a necessity in order to avoid costly repairs later on as a homeowner.
There are many preventative tips that can help keep outside plumbing safe. You want to remember to frost proof these pipes by wrapping them with a warm, durable material. The pipes on the outside are more vulnerable than those on the inside, although these too can be at risk. The water lines on washing machines can burst also, even if they are on the inside of the house. One sure measure will be to shut off the water going into the house. Every home has a water box that is usually near shrubbery, or a flower bed, where the water can be shut off.
If there is a problem finding the water box, just locate the meter box out near the street, and follow a straight line towards the house, and the water box should be some place nearby. Another thing to do to prevent the pipes on the outside from bursting during cold weather is to look for leaks in the yard. Finding a puddle of water in the yard could indicate that water is coming from a pipe. This could cause major damage should the water freeze up to the pipes. Make sure that all pipes are not leaking before the winter months.
Pipes can also freeze if the walls of the home are not insulated properly. Check the exterior walls for mold, water damage, and moisture build up. The plumbing on the outside of the house could be in jeopardy. If there is a significant water leak, shutting the water off when not in use will help tremendously, until help arrives. Leave it shut off when there is no one at home. This will eliminate a huge water bill.
If the water disaster is not an emergency, get more than one estimate on the cost of repairs. Although in the case of an emergency, many plumbing companies operate on a twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week schedule. They will be there when they are needed to take care of any problems that occur without warning. Cold weather is inevitable, but whether or not the pipes on the outside survive the winter’s harsh cold is totally up to the home owner, or renter. The plumbing on the outside is just as important as the plumbing on the inside.