How to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Winter for Canadian Homes
We Canadians face one of the harshest (and most exciting?) winters on the planet. Whether out in Alberta or over here in Southern Ontario, the prospect of plummeting negative temperatures and piles of snow is daunting for many homeowners who are trying to protect their home from damage. This damage is particularly troublesome to pipes, which are prone to freezing and cracking, causing costly repairs no homeowner wants.
Here at Caldwell Plumbing, we’re gearing up for winter 2020/2021 and doing what we can to support homeowners. In today’s post, we’ll be giving you several quick and easy tips that can make a big difference in protecting your home over the season.
Insulate Your Pipes with Foam Insulators or Heat Tape
The first step to keep your home’s pipes safe from freezing is to keep them insulated. Just like how we keep our home and our bodies warm from the cold, adding layers of material to your pipes will create a protective barrier that shields them from cold air inside and outside.
Insulating your pipes is usually a very easy and affordable process. Simply purchase pipe insulators from your nearest hardware store and place them around your pipes. Most pipe insulators are made from foam and are very affordable. When placing the insulators, make sure you cover as much of the pipe as possible, including the corners.
If you live in a colder area or have pipes that are easily exposed to the outdoors, it’s a good idea to buy stronger pipe insulators made from materials such as rubber. Electric heating tape can also be wrapped around pipes and used to keep pipes from freezing, just like how electric blankets heat up beds as they act as a heat source.
Keep Your Home Heated
If you’re leaving home for a quick break over the winter, you might want to second guess turning the heating off. This is because your home contains a lot of heat, especially when compared to the cold outside. When you leave home and switch the heating off, a lot of this heat disappears and your pipes are suddenly exposed to the cold air.
Though heating can be expensive across Ontario, the costs of repairing frozen and broken pipes can be higher. Using a smart meter or a timer can help regulate your home’s internal temperature while you are away without racking up high energy bills.
Let Your Faucet or Tap Drip Slightly
Despite being viewed as a myth by some people, letting your tap run very slowly overnight during cold periods does actually help to prevent them from freezing up.
Although you might think this works because you’re constantly running warmer water, it’s actually down to the pressure that’s passing through your pipes. Water that is allowed to sit is much more likely to freeze faster, causing pressure to build up in the gaps which will make your pipes split or break apart. It’s also why cottages are more prone to damaged pipes because they are unlikely to be used on a daily basis like homes do.
Do make sure that the flow of water is visible but very weak, otherwise you might be wasting it unnecessarily and could even accidentally cause a small flood.
Get Help from a Plumber
Last but not least, sometimes your home’s pipework can be just too complex to deal with on your own. Similarly, you might not be sure how to apply insulation or may find some pipes already damaged. Whatever your concern, contacting a plumber is an easy way to get the job done.
At Caldwell Plumbing, we’ve been helping many Ontario homeowners with their pipes, whether that’s repair or preventative maintenance. If you are in the Durham Region and looking for a plumber you can rely on for this winter, contact us today! We’re more than happy to assist you.