American Leak Detection Offers Winter Tips
“Every year according to the Insurance Information Institute insurance companies pay out over $1.5 billion to property owners who report various weather-related disasters including rupturing water pipes” said Will Knell Director of Operations for American Leak Detection. “Most of the disasters can be avoided by following some basic winterizing procedures to assist in avoiding both the cleanup and cost” added Knell.
Tips for protecting your pipes before freezing weather include:
- Locate your houses main water shutoff valve in case of emergency.
- Make sure hoses are disconnected from outside faucets.
- Make sure water pipes in unheated parts of your home including crawl spaces are insulated.
- Seal all openings in the basement around the foundation windows and doors.
- Pipes in your basement that are close to windows should be insulated.
- Drain all underground irrigation systems.
Tips for protecting your pipes during freezing weather
- If a water pipe freezes NEVER thaw it with an open flame. You may start a fire! Use hot air from a hair dryer the exhaust from a vacuum cleaner heat lamps heat tape or electric heaters.
- Make sure you heat all rooms of your house that have plumbing fixtures. Water pipes in unheated rooms are subject to freezing and could cause extensive damage.
- If your sinks are on an outside wall you can leave the cabinet doors open to allow the heat from the room to enter.
- An incandescent light bulb can be used to thaw pipes slowly by placing it next to pipes that are frozen (Be sure to keep the bulb away from combustible material.)
- Keep meter box lids closed during winter months to prevent cold air from freezing the meter. (Don’t remove snow if you don’t have to. It helps insulate the meter.)
- If you have experienced problems in the past during freezing periods and you have exhausted all other solutions you can leave a trickle of water running from the faucet highest in the house. (This trickle should be a steady stream slightly larger than the lead of a pencil.)
American Leak Detection encourages local homeowners to call their local water department for additional advice.
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