Prevent Pipes from Cracking and Leaking During Winter
At Rightway Waterproofing, most of our waterproofing jobs are to keep nature out of your basement. Our basement waterproofing systems vary from small to large, but the end goal is always to prevent water from coming into your basement while removing it effectively and automatically when it does.
But water damage can also occur from inside your home. This is most common during winter, when the freezing and thawing of water expands and contracts pipes. Constant changes in temperature will stress the pipes in your home. When they reach the breaking point- water leaks and flooding are soon to follow. The damage can be disastrous and rivals any hard rainfall during a rainy season.
Anyone that lives in the Northeast states knows just how bad the freezing temperatures can be for a home. With these simple tips, you can prevent really serious problems that happen from inside your home!
Checklist: What to Do Before Winter Arrives
If you are planning a basement waterproofing project, it’s best to do it in the weeks before winter. Snow fall creates problems for basements not seen during rainy months. Also, the busy holiday schedules leave many people panicking at the last minute, so basement waterproofing companies are incredibly busy during this time. When the snow thaws when spring arrives, it gets even busier!
Don’t wait before it’s too late! Get a free home inspection today to make sure your basement is ready for the winter!
Tips for Preventing Frozen Pipes
You want to make sure your furnace is ready for winter, so have an HVAC company do an overview of your furnace system. An overnight freeze can break a furnace not prepared for the freezing temperatures. You do not want to wake up to an ice-cold house with all of your pipes frozen.
Exterior Pipes – Wrap any pipes on the outside of your home with electrical heating tape. Remove garden hoses from their faucets to prevent freezing.
Interior Pipes – Foam rubber or fiberglass insulation secured with tape is a cheap and effective way to keep pipes inside your home from freezing.
Extreme Cold Tips – When sub-zero temperatures hit, these tips can further prevent frozen pipes. Inside the home, keep kitchen and cabinet doors open to allow room temperature air to flow around the plumping. Let your cold and hot water faucets drip a little. Running water has a harder time freezing, while reducing the amount of pressure building up in the pipes.
Tips for Thawing Frozen Pipes
If you experience a frozen pipe, there are some things you can try to get water flowing again. Most of the time, these simple tips below can have water flowing in a few minutes or hours. Any longer than that indicates a more serious problem.
Open the Faucet – A slowly running faucet helps the water thaw out easier as you try the next tips:
Apply Mild Heat to the Frozen Section – A portable space heater or even a hand-help hair dryer can be used to thaw pipes that are frozen. DO NOT use a propane torch since the extreme heat can cause the pipe to explode. DO NOT use propane or kerosene heaters since they are not safe for indoor use.
If can’t find the troubled pipe, call a licensed plumber. Rightway Waterproofing has an approved list of plumbers that we can recommend for you.
Worst Case Scenario – Your Pipe Bursts
A burst pipe can still happen even if you follow all of the tips above. Now is when you want to call a certified basement waterproofing company to give you professional help to solve the problem!
You should also call your insurance company at this point to see what damage is covered.
The first thing you should do (after contacting a professional contractor like Rightway) is to turn off the main water valve, assuming water is still flowing from the pipe. Any water in the basement should be removed as soon as possible to prevent the growth of mold. While mold does not grow in freezing temperatures outside, your basement only needs to be room temperature for mold to start growing.
The best way to take on winter is preparation! A few simple checkups will go a long way to prevent damage caused by freezing temperatures. Get your furnace system checked and get any planned basement waterproofing jobs done before winter. Your holiday shopping list shouldn’t include an emergency repair job for a burst pipe!