In the UK, as soon as the summer ends we have freezing temperatures set upon us. Burst water mains from such a temperature swing causes major headaches for homeowners, commuters and utility companies.
Preparing your home and it’s plumbing for winter will help keep you safe and prevent damage.
Burst pipes, why do they burst?
When water freezes it expands, putting a tremendous pressure on the pipes that contain the water. No matter what material the pipe is made of, be it plastic or metal, the force of this expansion can cause them to crack.
Those pipes most likely at risk of cracking/bursting are those that run against the exterior of the walls of a home that have little insulation. Pipes located in cold and unheated parts of the home such as basements, attics and even kitchen cupboards are at greater risk of cracking.
What are the things you can do to prepare your plumbing in your home from freezing winter temperatures?
- Add insulation to basements, attics and crawl spaces to raise the temperature of those areas from the outside elements.
- Keep your garage door closed if the garage has a water supply line.
- Leave your home with a radiator temperature set to no lower than 12 degrees celcius.
- Repair broken windows to help regulate the tempeatures inside your home.
- Let your bathroom and kitchen taps drip a tiny amount of water during very cold temperatures to keep water flowing preventing it from freezing.
- Remove all outdoor hoses. Hoses can contain lots of easily frozen water and cause damage to any outside taps.
How to prepare outside taps for winter?
Outdoor taps can freeze in winter causing damage that extends into the home. A burst pipe can cause thousands of gallons of water to enter your home ruining furniture, carpets and even causing structural damage.
Bleeding your outdoor lines and turning off the water supply to them can help outdoor pipes bursting.