Tag Archives: water damage

Winter Tips

State Farm posts this advice for cold winter temperatures and storms-

When the mercury plummets

Even if you’ve taken the right preventative steps, extreme weather conditions can still harm your pipes. Here are a few more steps you can take:

  • A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature—more common overnight—could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

Before you skip town

Travelling in the winter months might be good for the soul, but don’t forget to think about your pipes before you leave. What can you do?

  • Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55°F (12°C).
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing.
  • Shut off and drain the water system. Be aware that if you have a fire protection sprinkler system in your house, it may be deactivated when you shut off the water.

If your pipes do freeze

What if your pipes still freeze, despite your best preventive measures? First step: Don’t panic. Just because they’re frozen doesn’t mean they’ve already burst. Here’s what you can do:

  • If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
  • Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water. You could be electrocuted.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house!
  • You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe using a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
  • If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.

Fall Yard Work

The most important thing to remember to include as part of fall yard work is to prepare outdoor faucets for winter. Remove hoses and be certain exterior water spigots are shut off. It may be a good idea to have a plumber look at exterior spigots to be certain there is no threat of a pipe break.
Fall is a good time to trim landscaping to keep plants away from buildings and foundations. Gutters, downspouts and extensions should be cleared and cleaned so water will flow freely through them.

Prevent Water Damage

Summer is almost here and with it come vacations, graduations, weddings, reunions, and house guests. Appliances may run more often with less oversight. A few tips for prevention can help avert water damage.

  • Don’t leave the washing machine running if no one will be home. If you’ll be away on vacation you may want to shut the water supply lines off.
  • Check the washing machine water supply hoses quarterly to be sure they are in good condition.
  • If water loss occurs shut the water supply lines off.
  • Inspect refrigerator water lines quarterly. The line is small and a leak may go unnoticed for a period of time, resulting in extensive water damage and subsequent mold growth.
  • Examine water heaters for signs of rust, corrosion and possible leaks. Look at the bottom of the unit as well as lines valves and connections. If the unit has indications of wear call a licensed plumber for professional advice.

Periodic review of your appliances may save you the expense and inconvenience of water damage to your property.

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