Unfortunately, the holiday season is over but we still have several weeks left of the cold weather season. This is the time of year when many homeowners like to plan vacations and trips out of town to see loved ones.
Taking a vacation this time of the year is a great way to recover from the stress and Chaos of the holiday season as well as a time to get away from the cold weather and go somewhere that is warmer. However, you do have to leave one thing behind and that is your home.
Many people are concerned about what condition their home will be in when they get back. This is especially true during the winter time as a frozen and subsequently broken pipe is not unusual.
If you are planning a trip away from home this winter and you’re worried about a pipe freezing and bursting while you are gone – make sure to take these precautions:
- Know the location of your water shut-off valve and test it regularly. If a pipe breaks, you won’t want to have to find it then or, worse, wait for someone to arrive at your place to find it for you.
- Insulate pipes that may be vulnerable to the cold or have caused problems before. Pipes close to exterior walls or in unheated basements or crawlspaces can be wrapped with pieces of insulation. Don’t overlook pipes near windows, which can quickly freeze. For particularly difficult pipes, consult a professional on how to select and apply heat tape.
- Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to help keep them from freezing.
- Crack a faucet farthest from the place where your water enters the house. A very slow drip will keep water molecules moving, reducing the chance that pipes will freeze. Place a bucket underneath the faucet so the water can be saved for other household uses. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe.
- Keep your thermostat set above 55 degrees when leaving your house or business for several days
Enjoy your vacation or trip away from home this winter by following these tips to protect your pipes and give you peace of mind.