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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Top tips for preparing your self build home for winter

### This is a collaborative post ###

 

Let's say that you just build a home, and with the winter approaching fast, you need to figure out how to protect your home over the cold season. What steps can you take to ensure that you don't suffer any home damage in the coming winter season? Here are a couple of different things that may help you with preparing your home for the winter.

Tip #1: Insulate the Pipes

One of the most common causes of weather damage in the cold comes from frozen pipes. How does this happen? Without pipe insulation, the water on the inside of the pipe can freeze. Learn about the signs of frozen pipes here. As it thaws, however, it puts an incredible amount of pressure on the pipe, and this can cause it to burst. One of the first signs that you have a frozen pipe is that you have reduced water flow. You could also find that you have no water whatsoever. Frozen pipes won't always crack or burst, so thawing is one of your best choices. Let the pipe thaw out with the warmth from the home. You will need a lot of patience, but with time, you can get it.


Tip #2: How to See if the Water Has Thawed

Testing out if the water has thawed, you will need two people. You will first turn off the main valve. Next, you will turn on the faucets throughout the home while it is off. You turn on the main valve and have one person walk around throughout the home. They will check to see that all the pipes within the home are running water at a reasonable rate. If one doesn't seem to be running, this shows that you have a pipe that has frozen. Going to Pipe Lagging can help you to buy the quality insulation that you need for insulating your pipes.

Tip #3: Get the Air Flowing

One of the ways that you can thaw the pipes within the home is through opening up the cabinets to letting the warm air in. Especially during a particular cold snap, the warm air will help to keep the pipes from freezing. Remember, it's better to keep it from freezing than to have to try to undo the damage that occurs from it after the fact. The refreezing of the pipes can cause damage to them.

Tip #4: Don't Use a Flame over a Frozen Pipe

Sometimes when people get a frozen pipe, their instinctual reaction is to try to warm it up with a flame. For example, don't take a propane torch to try to thaw the water inside the pipe. You might be thinking that this will get the water flowing again, but this will only damage your plumbing and make the situation worse. The other issue with an open flame is how it could start a fire in the home.

Tip #5: Check to See That You Truly Have Coverage

Unfortunately, you do have cases where homeowner's insurance won't cover the water that leaks into the home from snow that melts or even burst pipes. It depends on the policy and what terms you have inside them. In some cases, the melting snow has put too much burden on the storm drainage system. Normally, you can expect to pay around $50 extra per month for $10,000 to $20,000 of coverage for sewage backup to get put on your policy.

Tip #6: Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

One of the greatest dangers that you can face over the winter season comes from if your furnace starts to malfunction. It can put out an incredible level of carbon monoxide that could be dangerous to your health. Approximately 500 people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning every year since 2000. This creates an increased need for people to install carbon monoxide detectors because it will protect them from this danger.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colourless gas, and in excessive quantities, it can kill you without you even being aware of it because of how it sucks the oxygen right out of the air and people suffocate. Some of the signs that you might be dealing with excessive carbon monoxide include:

  • Feeling sleepy

  • Weakness

  • Blurry vision

  • Dizziness

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Confusion

  • Dull headache

Tip #7: The Case for Insulating Pipes

You have a couple of reasons that you might want to apply pipe insulation. First, this will prevent you from getting burnt when the water pipes have been exposed. Second, it keeps the pipes from expanding and contracting when the temperatures change. Believe it or not, even the change of temperatures can cause the pipes to expand and contract. This can make it hard on your water pipes, and eventually, this is what leads to leads and burst pipes.


Tip #8: The Ideal Level of Insulation

In a perfect world, you'd insulate the plumbing from the start of the water heater to the destination of the pipes. This ensures that the pipes never get exposed to the cold at any point. To be clear, you can still put on insulation and have the pipes freeze. However, the difference comes from how you lower the chances of this happening.

Tip #9: Leave the Water Slightly Running

This doesn't mean that you should leave it running all the time. However, during those especially cold days where even the insulation won't fully protect your pipes, you may want to leave the water running very slightly. This keeps the water moving and the pipes from freezing. Let's say that you have some concerns that this will raise your water bill too much. To get around this problem, you can actually call the water company during this time and alert them to the fact that you will be running the water as a way of keeping the pipes from freezing. They will keep that in mind on your water bill.

Tip #10: Burst Pipe and Homeowners' Insurance

Under most circumstances, if you have a burst pipe your home insurance should cover it because this comes as the standard coverage on most policies. What does this mean? It means that they will cover the repair to the water damaged walls, rugs, furniture, and they will cover the broken pipe itself. However, you should always acquaint yourself with what is inside of your policy to guarantee that you have coverage.

Tip #11: Close the Fireplace Damper

To keep your home warm to the fullest, you should keep the fireplace damper closed. This keeps the cold from getting inside the home. As someone who just built a home, you may not be aware of how this can impact your home.

Getting your home ready for the winter months has a few things to keep in mind. In particular, you want to keep the pipes from freezing because this can cause you a lot of problems. If you'd like to get insulation for your pipes, you can visit Pipe Lagging to learn more. Getting some of the best information can help you to stay warm this winter without too many complications. Especially during the coldest part of the year, you can arm yourself with this knowledge so that a frozen pipe doesn't take you by surprise and cause you disruption in the home. Preparing your home, in general, ensures that you will have a harmonious winter season.

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