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Winter Prevention For Burst Pipes

Burst pipes can cause significant damage to your home or business that could take months to clean up and repair. When this happens, it’s an emergency situation if you can’t act fast. Do you know what to do if this happens to you? Do you know what causes a pipe to burst so you can prevent it? Here are some helpful tips from the plumbing and drainage experts at Best Plumbing and Drainage Contractors.

Freezing Pipes

Pipes can freeze and burst in winter. In Canada, water pipes are typically in the basement where they should be insulated from the cold, but extremely cold weather or holes or drafts in the basement can cause ice to build up inside or outside the pipe. Ice in the pipes may not be a critical problem, but the ice can build up and create a pressure issue inside the pipes. As the ice forms, it forces water back towards the valve or faucet which is where the problem usually occurs.

An Ounce of Prevention

Are there gaps in the foundation around cable, television, or telephone wires that allow in cold drafts? What about the crawl space or attic? Remember, it’s not just a pipe in the basement that could burst if a water pipe was incorrectly installed against an exterior wall for instance.

Make sure your pipes are well protected from the cold and be careful how much you lower the heat when you go away even for a weekend in the winter. You may return home to a nasty surprise.

Do you turn off the water to the outside faucet every fall? If there’s water in the outdoor tap extension, there is a very good chance that pipe will freeze.

If pipes are located in a cabinet (under the sink) near an outside wall, leave the cabinet doors open at night on very cold days to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes.

And know where the internal stop/tap is located in your home and how to turn it off.

What to do if a pipe bursts

Turn off the water at the main valve. If the water continues to flow, turn on all the cold water taps to empty the pipes. Do the same with the hot water heating system and drain that water too.

Find the break in the plumbing. If it’s just a tiny crack you may be able to patch the problem though this is only a temporary fix. If the main water line is damaged, you’ll need to call a professional like Best Plumbing and Drainage Contractors for a thorough inspection and proper repair.

If there is significant flooding or water damage, turn off the main electrical supply unit immediately. Electricity and water obviously do not mix.

You can place a hot water bottle over the frozen pipe and start the slow thawing process. Begin nearest the tap and work away from it.

And as mentioned, it’s best to call a plumbing professional to get the problem fixed right so it doesn’t happen again. And remember to call in a specialist to have your home dried out properly to prevent mold and mildew problems. And for significant flooding, you may need to call an electrician to evaluate whether any wiring was damaged and requires repair.

Burst pipes are a common issue, especially during the winter months. For experienced and courteous assistance with all your plumbing and drainage problems, contact the professionals at Best today!

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At BEST Plumbing and Drainage Contractors, we feel it's important to help homeowners understand the role of the contractor and the various construction solutions available for each unique plumbing, wet basement repair and drainage issue. We are more than happy to consult with you and help navigate the process.

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