When the snows fall and the white winds blow, those who prepared their property for winter will fare better than those who did not. Cold weather can freeze water in your plumbing, creating the potential winter water damage. But taking preventative measures can help you avoid extensive damage, expensive repairs, and the accompanying headaches.
7 Ways to Prevent Water Damage During Winter Months
Allow Water to Drip to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When outdoor temperatures drop well below freezing, the water in your plumbing has the potential to freeze (although it would take hours for this to happen). You can prevent a winter water damage disaster by allowing your faucets to drip when temperatures fall in the teens or below. You should also keep your indoor temperature above at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit to keep pipes from freezing.
Read More: How to Thaw & Prevent Frozen Water Pipes
Call a Technician for Water Heater Maintenance
Water heaters can struggle during winter. Cold weather means you’ll likely use more hot water, especially if you have guests over for the holidays. The increased demand, coupled with frigid temperatures, may be too much. That’s why regular water heater maintenance is important to the longevity of your system. You can help yourself and your water heater by insulating the water supply inlet and outlet to prevent freezing. Installing a water heater blanket can also help conserve heat, which combats energy loss in your tank.
When was the last time you checked the gutters? As the weather grows colder, leaves fall and pile into gutters and downspouts. Without proper drainage, water or melting snow may flow into your home instead of away from it. Grab a ladder and clear any leaves or debris from the gutters and check on the downspouts. You should also consider getting a gutter guard to help prevent clogs.
Insulate Water Lines
The uninsulated areas of your home are more vulnerable to winter weather than others. A smart move to make before winter is to install pipe insulation to water supply lines. This is especially important in areas like exterior walls or where you know there is no insulation. You can also install pressure relief valves on water lines to avoid a burst from a pressure build-up if the pipes do freeze.
Fix Faulty Roofing
If you already got the ladder out to check the gutters, you may as well inspect the roof for any damage as well. Missing shingles or storm damage can create just enough space for water to leak through and damage your attic and ceiling and fosters mold growth. Have your roof professionally looked at and repaired before winter can water damage your home.
Resolve Sump Pump Backups
When sump pumps are fully functional, they’re an invaluable asset. But during winter, your system could freeze and clog, causing backups from melting snow and ice. Before that can happen, have your sump pump professionally inspected and maintained. You should also keep the basement heated so water lines can’t freeze as easily. It may be worth insulating.
Read More: Sewage Backup Causes: 6 Things to Do
Ensure Septic Lines or Tank Can’t Freeze
If your septic tank doesn’t have enough soil coverage, it can be vulnerable to freezing temperatures. A frozen septic tank main line can cause the whole system to stop working. If the content in the septic tank freezes, you could be looking at a messy backup, leak, and winter water damage. Combat this by elevating the area over your septic tank with additional soil. You can also pump your tank before winter weather hits and/or lay down straw over the area where the tank lies.
Water Damage Specialists in Southern Idaho
During winter, water damage can derive from leaking roofs, frozen plumbing, and a lack of insulation in vulnerable areas. Despite your preventative measures, winter weather may still cause water damage to your property. When that happens, don’t waste a moment—call CTR for water & flood damage cleanup in Southern Idaho. Our certified technicians are available all day, every day of the week to get your property and peace of mind restored.