Apart from snowy scenery and chilly temperatures, winter weather packs increased risks of water damage. Winter is notorious for being wet and cold, comes with large amounts of ice and snow, and poses severe consequences.
Cold temperatures freeze water inside the pipes causing them to burst. This can cause water to leak damaging the ceiling, walls, floor, artwork, furniture and other valuables. Additionally, it can soak electrical systems and even allow dangerous mold to develop if not quickly cleaned.
Let’s take a look at the things you can do to prevent water damage in your home this winter.
Installing a water leak detection device
Even minimal leaks can prove devastating. If undetected they can cause expensive damage, i.e. leaks on the walls. There are low-cost leak detectors that entail sensors. The indicators are set up near water heaters, under the sink, near the refrigerator or a dishwasher. The system sounds an alarm if they detect any moisture.
Leak detectors are not expensive. Some models send alerts to your Smartphone in case they detect moisture. Also, they send alerts when there is a drastic change in the volume of water used in the house, signalling for a possible leak. Other sensors are set to monitor the flow of water in the house. If the intake is not average, they can automatically shut down the water valve. Such a sensor is beneficial if you travel regularly.
Regular checkup for your water supply line
Winter can make it challenging to inspect the pipes outside the house because of thick and heavy snow. However, you can give the supply line an annual checkup. Check for wear and tear on the part exposed and under the pipe. Also, check the washing machine hoses, hot water heater, the ice machine in the refrigerator and all other appliances that can leak.
Water supply lines are durable. They can last for at least five years. Once this period has elapsed, you should consider replacing the rubber hoses with steel-braided ones. Steel hoses will last longer saving you on costs.
Prevent the pipes from freezing
During winter, pipes make very strange noises. The cold from ice makes them strain when expanding. When the temperatures are below negative, the pipes freeze and then burst leaving openings for water to leak. Both metal and plastic pipes are at risk of bursting.
One challenging aspect is that you can’t detect that a frozen pipe has been damaged until the snow melts. Also, you can’t differentiate the water leaking from the pipe and the melting ice. The pipes that are outside are more critical than the ones inside. The ones in the house access heat, preventing the water inside the pipes from freezing. There are a few tips that you can implement to ensure the pipes don’t freeze during winter. They include;
1. Practice prevention.
Ensure all the pipes are insulated. Insulation is very cheap and effective. You can cover using pipe sleeves. They are affordable instead of incurring repair costs. When wrapping, major on the pipes that are prone to cold from ice and snow. Also, include the ones in the basement and garage if you have some.
2. Allow the faucet to drip.
When the faucet drips slightly, the pressure is relieved in the systems. The tension created between the faucet and blockage is the one that causes the pipe to burst, giving room for leaks. If pressure doesn’t build up in the pipeline, they will remain intact. If the faucet is served by both cold and hot water, ensure you slightly open both taps. You can also fix a single-handle faucet, i.e. a kitchen faucet for warming.
3. Seal all cracks and holes.
Check for cracks where pipes run through floors or walls. The most notorious cracks are the ones that allow in cold air. When sealing, ensure both sides, interior and exterior of the floor or wall are well filled.