Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter
Alberta has four distinct seasons we all enjoy, from mild summers to snowy winters. In fact, Environment Canada ranks Alberta first for having the most comfortable overall weather in Canada. But even still, our winter temperatures can drop as low as -30 to -40 C. To minimize your chance of costly home repairs and insurance claims during these ensuing winter months, Alpine Insurance would like to review this problematic situation.
Unfortunately plumbing is susceptible to freezing in cold temps, which inflicts havoc on your home’s pipes. The problem is, when stagnant water freezes it expands to a point that it can burst through any container no matter the strength of material it is held in. This means pipes exposed to the elements that are made of plastic, metal, (you name it), are vulnerable to damage if the proper precautions are not taken during winter months.
While the weather is still temperate, make a preemptive strike by following these recommended courses of action:
- If you have a swimming pool and/or sprinkler system, drain the water from the supply lines by following the manufacture or installer’s direction. As well as any hoses that will be stored outdoors; remove from spigots, and drain.
- Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs while keeping the outside valves open – this allows any remaining to drain out.
- Install insulation on pipes that are located in unheated areas such as basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
When the temperature does drop and frozen pipes become a reality, here are a few actions you can take to for added defense:
- Only open garage doors when necessary. This will help the water supply lines in the garage stay warmer.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors at night before bed to keep the heated air inside circulating around this plumbing. Keep your heater set to at least 12 C at all times.
- Let a small amount of water drip from faucets attached to exposed pipes to keep the water moving preventing freeze.
Still came down with a case of frozen pipes?…
You did all you could to prepare and took all the precautions but the cold won at the end of the day, and now you have frozen pipes. Bummer! But never fear, here are some tips on how treat the problem:
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, a hair dryer, a space heater, or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water.
- While applying heat keep faucets open to let melted water out – plus that running melted water will expedite the rest of the melting process.
- If you suspect the frozen pipe(s) is in an area that is not accessible to you, or if water pressure is not fully restored after treating the suspected frozen pipe, time to call in the big guns – a licensed professional plumber.
Want to know what’s covered and what’s not on your current homeowner / rental insurance policy? Contact us today!
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