Most homeowners are aware of the seriousness of their plumbing pipes freezing and why that situation can cause serious damage.
However, many homeowners may not understand how to prevent frozen pipes. Encouraging your residents to learn how to winterize their home plumbing system – both inside and out – can pay off, especially since a lot of the winterizing work is made up of simple DIY tricks that shouldn’t take them too long.
Understanding the Risks
Frozen pipes can not only cause minor headaches when your residents are taking a shower or running a dishwasher, but also can burst and potentially cause a lot of water damage. Water damage can be costly to repair and typically requires a professional plumber. Fortunately, the following winterizing tips can help your residents avoid that need altogether.
Where to Begin
Residents should start by looking at the exposed water lines coming into – and running throughout – their home. These can be found in the basement, bathroom and kitchen – anywhere water flows, for example, in a garage or basement. If exposed water lines aren’t insulated, residents can easily buy a few tubes of pipe insulation at the local hardware store and install it at little cost.
If a home’s insulation has not been replaced in a long while, there is a risk of freezing wall pipes. In many cases, this is a job homeowners won’t – and probably can’t – handle themselves and calling a professional would be best.
Exterior walls have pipes that can be at a greater risk for freezing and bursting. Fortunately, there is an easy fix: Having pipes run on a slight drip while the temperature is below freezing could help your residents avoid these issues. It’s a great life hack to help avoid frozen pipes as it keeps water flowing and helps prevent them from freezing.
When it comes to the water lines that run outside a home, your residents should be conscious of the risks those pose as well. Even something as minor as leaving a water-filled hose outside when cold weather arrives can cause problems. It’s important to shut off all water to outside spigots and flush any remaining water before the temperature drops below freezing. If a resident has an underground sprinkler system, that needs to be flushed out as well.
Of course, winterizing should include more than taking a hard look at a home’s plumbing. There are plenty of other ways residents can make sure their property is ready for harsh winds, frigid temperatures, snow, ice and all the rest. A little winterizing research can go a long way. This can not only help them avoid major issues, but it might save them a bit of money as well.
Contact us to learn more about how the National League of Cities (NLC) Service Line Warranty Program, administered by Utility Service Partners, a HomeServe company, can help educate your residents about winterization and their service line responsibilities.