This week we thought we would share some tips to help prevent damage from frozen pipes when away from your home for more than a day or two. (Thanks to our friends at PuroClean for inspiration for this blog post!)
Determine where the water shut-off valve is in the house and how to use it in case pipes freeze and break.
1. Shut off the main water supply before you leave.
2. Have someone you trust check your home about once per week if you are away.
3. Have the Home Rental Services number handy in case something does go wrong.
(Call 913-469-6633, then press 3 and then 1 for reporting emergencies)
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Freezing weather may be uncomfortable, but having water lines freeze and break is no fun at all. Frozen water pipes can be avoided with a little planning and a few simple steps. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, such as outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas such as basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing. (What is a hose bib?)
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife and landscaping.
- Remove, drain and carefully store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose taps to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can freeze. If water is not running through the pipe, and the water temperature becomes cold. If you find any pipes that need insulation, please let us know!
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children.
- During extreme cold, keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.