Preparing Your Pipes for the Coming Winter

With the recent hot weather we know it’s hard to even believe that the freezing cold temperatures of winter are less than 3 months away. However, it’s the truth and even though it may be 30oC outside right now, there’s no better time than right now to make sure your plumbing systems are ready for the winter cold. The best way to do this is to call a professional Markham plumber to come out and provide an assessment of your system, but if you can’t afford that there are some things you can do yourself that will help.

Many people who have never experienced the problems associated with frozen pipes imagine it to just be a minor inconvenience which stops your water from flowing. They neglect the fact that water expands as it freezes and becomes ice, this causes your pipes to stretch every time they freeze eventually leading them to fail and burst. Burst pipes can then lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage within your home within just a few hours while you’re asleep or even worse if you happen to be away for a few days when the problem occurs.

So what can you do to prevent this from happening in your home? First of all, make sure your pipes are all properly insulated. This will not completely prevent freezing in the coldest temperatures, but it can buy you a few hours that you may not otherwise have if the temperature is borderline for freezing. On average, it takes approximately 4 hours for uninsulated pipes to freeze at -2o to -3oC; with proper insulation, it may take as much as twice as long allowing the temperatures to rise above freezing once again before the pipes can fully freeze.

The simplest thing you can do to prevent freezing on days when the temperature is expected to remain well below freezing for an extended period of time is to open your faucets to a slight trickle and allow them to run. This isn’t a fancy solution, but it will guarantee against freezing in all but the absolute coldest climates as the flow of water keeps it from dissipating too much heat at anyone point and prevents it from freezing.

The best thing you can do for yourself is always going to be having a professional assessment done by a professional Markham plumber who can find the areas where freezing is most likely to occur and make the corrections needed to minimize the risk. One last tip before we wrap this up, when you leave the house for a vacation in the winter, the tendency to turn off the heat to save energy must be avoided at all costs as it will allow the temperature of your whole home to drop below freezing in the event of an extended cold spell while you’re away and potentially lead to the freezing and bursting of interior pipes that are uninsulated as they were never expected to see such cold temperatures. Simply turning the thermostat down to 10oC while you are gone will save considerable energy while still providing your home with enough warmth to prevent freezing.

If you have any further questions, please leave them in the comments section or give us a call to personally speak to one of our expert Markham plumbers.