With the current low temperatures, the piping can freeze. This can cause breakage or cracks, which will result in leaks or even flooding upon thaw. To avoid this common problem in areas with a harsh winter climate, here are the tips to follow.
Insulation, the essential gesture
To protect the pipes, the first instinct is to protect them from cold attacks. Before starting the work, be aware that the pipes located before the water meter are the responsibility of your supplier, but that those located after belong to you: if you do not take the necessary measures to insulate them, your The insurer will consider it negligence and will probably not cover you in the event of damage.
Start by measuring the diameter of the exterior ducts, but also of those installed in places subject to drafts (crawl space, cellar, garage, etc.). Next, get the corresponding size rubber or polyethylene foam insulation sleeves, and install them along the entire length of the pipes. You can also use antifreeze heating cables, the thermostat of which will start automatically as soon as the thermometer drops below 5 ° C. It is not recommended to use glass wool or newspaper, as these materials tend to retain moisture and could on the contrary amplify the phenomenon. Finally, don’t forget the water meter, to be surrounded by heat-insulating sleeves or polystyrene sheets.
Purge unoccupied dwellings
If you plan to be away for several weeks or if the home is a second home where you only live a few months a year, remember to drain the pipes before your departure. First close the tap or the drain valve to cut off the general water supply, then open your outdoor taps and let the water flow until it dries up. Then close your taps.
As soon as spring returns and the temperatures are warmer, you can put water back into your pipes. Finally, if possible program your heating in frost protection mode.
What to do in the event of a frozen pipe?
If the damage has already been done, immediately shut off the water supply to avoid damage when thawing. Bring hot water bottles, hot towels, a fan heater or a hair dryer and defrost frozen pipes. Then wipe them dry so they are dry and take this opportunity to make sure there are no cracks. If so, close the gap, then isolate to prevent further incidents.