Did you know that in North America, only hurricanes damage more homes and result in more claim costs than frozen water pipes? As a major leading cause of home disasters, too few homeowners know about this easily avoidable problem.
Frozen water pipes typically occur in cold weather, especially in Canadian cities like Etobicoke. Every winter, tens of thousands of homes are ruined due to a busted pipe. Water expands when frozen, which can cause pipes in walls or underneath floorboards to freeze up and eventually crack. A crack as small as 3 millimeters can release over 700 liters of water in just one day—imagine the damage this can cause! Considering frozen pipes in Etobicoke often occur when residents are away, damage is often intensified by low response time.
Water damage is extremely costly to repair. Some houses in Etobicoke have even been demolished due to cracks in frozen water pipes. Limited damage consists of ruined drywall and carpets, as well as the destruction of anything stored in the basement or affected rooms including water heaters and electrical systems. Secondary problems include damaged floorboards or structural components. Occasionally foundations are damaged requiring extremely expensive repairs. Water damage is often followed by extensive mold and mildew problems, which can lead to odors, health hazards and even condemning the property. Finally, expect increased homeowner insurance rates as well.
The most common cause of frozen pipes in Etobicoke and their resulting damages, like elsewhere, is simple negligence. To save on heating costs, many homeowners, while away, turn the heat too low or completely off. With stagnant water in pipes and low temperatures, the water, as you might expect, freezes and causes cracked pipes. Obviously, keeping an appropriate temperature level in a home is the most common-sense preventative measure.
Unfortunately though, leaving the thermostat at a good temperature does not completely protect a homeowner from frozen pipe damage. Power outages can knock out heating systems and cause the same problem, therefore back-up generators or having a friend routinely check-in on your home while you are away are excellent ways to prevent this emergency from happening. Shutting the main-water pipe off to the house also leaves pipes empty and less likely to break.
Many professionals in Etobicoke also can check the quality of your water pipes and provide maintenance when necessary. Water pipes are often overlooked when it comes to home maintenance, but just like anything else, they sometimes require small repairs or replacement. Similarly, if you are home and you discover either a frozen pipe or a cracked pipe, immediately call a professional. While you wait for them to arrive, as they will probably have advised you to do over the phone, you might consider using a hair dryer to thaw a frozen pipe, or if it is broken, to shut off the main water valve running in your home.
Vacations, especially in Canadian winters, should be enjoyable and worry-free. Before leaving town, make sure you take preventative measures to ensure your water pipes won’t freeze. A little knowledge and prevention can save you from a nightmare when you return home.