If you are lucky enough to be going on vacation this winter season, be sure to prepare your home for your departure. In addition to dealing with packing, mail delivery and getting ahead at work, you should add ‘home preparation’ to your pre-trip list! When you leave your home unattended in the winter, the risk of your pipes freezing increases. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take before you leave to make sure you return to the fully functioning home you left behind.
How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing this Winter
A lot of preparation goes into a vacation, and with so much focus placed on where you are going, it can be easy to forget where you are leaving. Don’t forget to prepare your home so you don’t come home to frozen pipes and end your vacation on a sour note. Take these steps to limit the chances of pipes freezing while you are away:
- Leave the heat on – Many people shut off their heat completely when they leave the house. While it can be tempting to save a few dollars on your heating bill, the cost of repairing a frozen pipe will far outweigh the savings. One of the easiest ways to reduce the possibility of a plumbing problem is to leave your heat on when you are gone. It doesn’t have to be as high as you would keep it if you were home, but it should not be set below 12 degrees Celsius.
- Shut off water to exterior faucets – Take the time to shut off water to exterior faucets for the season, whether or not you are leaving your home unattended. Pipes located outdoors or near exterior walls are susceptible to freezing and are particularly vulnerable when the water is left on. Especially if it is not being monitored. If an issue arises while you are gone, it will be allowed to progress rapidly and could cause extensive damage.
- Clean your gutters – If there are blockages in your gutters or rain pipes, it may cause drainage issues and result in damaged pipes. Be sure to check them before you leave.
- Ask someone to check in – Asking a friend or neighbour to check on the house is always a good idea. They can collect newspapers, make sure there are no plumbing problems, and water your plants until you return.
Even when you follow all of these steps, Edmonton’s harsh winters mean you may still have pipes freezing. If you return home to any frozen pipes or other plumbing issues, Always Plumbing & Heating can help. Our team of Edmonton plumbers can repair frozen pipes, furnaces and even offer emergency services. Give us a call at 780-489-8118 or contact us online.