Take advantage of these cold weather tips for home:
Because Wilmington winters are relatively mild, many homeowners put prepping for the cold on the back burner. Unfortunately, that delay to winterize your home can have some expensive consequences when the temperature drops below freezing. Just one icy night can leave you with busted pipes, surprise flooding and thousands of dollars in water and mold damage.
To fight off Old Man Winter this season, it’s time to place your other to-dos to the side and make protecting your pipes a top priority.
Five steps to winterize your home
Winter weather is the third biggest cause of insured catastrophic loses, right behind hurricanes and tornadoes. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the cold costs homeowners $1 billion a year in damages, with flooding from frozen pipes alone hitting $27,000 per claim on average.
Reducing your risk of winter flooding requires just a few quick steps you can easily do over a weekend:
- Stop cold air from coming in. Frigid air can cause your pipes to freeze and eventually crack from the pressure, spilling hundreds of gallons of water into your home. Take a walk around your house and caulk any holes or cracks in the walls and foundation to keep the cold outside. Also, be sure to close off crawl space vents and cover any openings with insulation to prevent drafts.
- Suit up your pipes in winter gear. Wrap any accessible pipes in fiberglass or foam rubber insulation sleeves from your local hardware store, especially those in your attic or crawl spaces. If you notice any cracks in your pipes, it’s best to call a professional plumber to stop the problem from getting worse.
- Leave your cabinet doors open. In many kitchens and bathrooms, the pipes run along the exterior walls, making them more susceptible to the cold. The easiest way to prevent freezing is to leave any cabinet doors around the plumbing open, and on especially cold nights, let the faucets slowly drip to keep water moving.
- Disconnect your outdoor plumbing. While the temperature’s still on the warm side, don’t forget to disconnect garden hoses from the spigot and drain the water from the pipes. You can also purchase an insulated foam faucet cover or faucet sock from a home improvement store to add an extra level of protection. If you have a sprinkler system, be sure to turn off the valve, and if you can’t drain the system yourself, contact your irrigation company for assistance.
- Don’t be stingy with the thermostat. If you’re trying to save money by turning off your heat, you could end up with an even pricier problem on your hands. If you truly want to winterize your home, keep your thermostat at 55 degrees, even if you will be away from home for a few days, to ensure your pipes are warm and cozy.
Help for wintertime flooding in Wilmington
If you follow these cold winter tips for home, but still experience flooding from broken pipes thanks to an unexpected Arctic blast, contact the experts at Pride Cleaning & Restoration in Wilmington. Not only will we dry out your flooded rooms, but we’ll also restore them back to their original condition and remove any sign of mold growth. To learn more, contact the Pride team today at 910-507-2060.