The Easiest Ways To Prevent Water Damage Over The Winter
Every homeowner should learn to take water leaks seriously. A small drip can turn into major water damage if you neglect it. Doing a yearly inspection of all plumbing that runs throughout the house is a priority in being a responsible homeowner.
# Winterizing A Vacant Or Seasonal Home
Important steps must be taken if you happen to be one of the lucky homeowners that have an additional seasonal home or vacation retreat. You could find serious water damage if you neglect the plumbing in your vacation retreat.
You should know where to turn off the water supply if you plan on being away from your vacation home for extended periods of time. The pipes should be drained for areas where colder climates are prevalent. Opening all the faucets should drain all pipes. Toilets should be flushed to clear the tanks and bowls of stored water. Antifreeze designed for home plumbing systems can be used if needed. You can hire a plumber to blow out the plumbing lines and add antifreeze to your vacation retreat.
You can leave the water on but you must make sure the heat keeps the pipes from freezing in your seasonal home. Turn the thermostat up to 60 degrees to keep the home moderately warm while you are away. Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate to the pipes. Turn the water supply off to the laundry area if possible. You can install a programmable thermostat in your seasonal home that can be adjusted through a phone app.
# How To Spot Water Damage From Leaking Pipes
Inspecting all areas around both your primary residence and seasonal home are important methods to find even the smallest of leaks. Check the water heater often as a measure to ensure no water damage is occurring. Check all the lines for leaks and inspect the floor for leaks around the tank.
Replace any toilet valves and kits with new ones if your commode is continuously running. The replacement parts are much cheaper that the costs of a higher water bill. Inspect the line underneath the tank to ensure no leaks are present. A leak underneath the tank can cause floor damage.
One way to determine a water leak is to check the water meter located in the ground near the house. You can turn the water off to determine if a leak is present. Watch the meter valve to see if it still turns after shutting off the water supply. A water leak could be located between the meter and the home. Wet or soggy ground between the meter and home means a major leak is present at that source.
Leaky faucets with drips should be replaced or have new washers installed. You should check for water damage in walls and paneling. Those areas will appear as darker stain that guarantees a plumbing line is leaking behind the wall.
# Wrap The Pipes
Adding insulation around the pipes is a sure-fire way to keep them from freezing during winter’s coldest temperatures. Pipe foam insulation is easy to install. The product is available in pre-slit foam and semi-seal types. Faucets covers should be installed on all outside water valves to help protect them from freezing.
Most of the water leak damage that can occur around your primary residence or seasonal retreat can be prevented. A plumber can do the work for you if those jobs are more than you can handle. Remember that a little prevention can go a long way in keeping your pipes free of water leakage and major damages to your home.