WINTER WEATHERIZATION TIPS
Easy Winterization Tips
El Nino is neutral, Arctic Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation and Pacific Decadel Oscillation. I am by no means a meteorologist, but when we mix all of these big four factors together, The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that threats to cause even more frozen pipe damage to our homes and businesses is not over yet. We have three to four more months of cold weather coming into our area that can cause damage. In addition to The Old Farmers Almanac, Punxsutawney Phil the world’s most famous winter weather rodent saw his shadow so there is another factor indicating we will have a longer winter. So just in case, let’s rely on The Old Farmers Almanac and cute Punxsutawney Phil and take preventative measures. A burst pipe can cause at a minimum of $10,000 damage to the home. Let’s fight back the cold with simple steps to protect your property.
Ruptured pipes in a home are one of the most common claims that insurance companies see and homeowners are urged to take preventative measures whenever possible. Frozen water causes pressure buildup which then creates the pipe to burst. Pipes that are in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are especially vulnerable to freezing. If you have a fire sprinkler check to ensure that the lines are insulated. Check your water meter box and insulate with covering; nothing that will hold moisture as that will freeze and will not keep the meter warm.
We have shared simple tips over the years and will continue to share these in hopes of preventing major damage to your home. Our area has experienced one of the coldest and longest duration of freezing temperatures in many years, not allowing the ground to even begin to thaw. In talking with several landscapers, they all stated they have not seen such a depth of frozen ground, in most cases 12” and more. The freeze has halted local road work projects, it has prohibited plumbers and landscapers from digging and uncovering broken pipes, concrete and stucco has not been allowed to cure in a proper manner and as stated in our Daily Courier last week, the freeze has caused many bursts pipes and HVAC issues throughout Yavapai County.
If necessary, run a slow trickle of water flowing through the faucets connected to pipes that run through unheated or unprotected spaces. Leave cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate, especially in the kitchen and baths. Use heat tape if necessary or insulate pipes. Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes. Always disconnect garden hoses and drain/flush yard sprinkler systems.
Everyone should know the location of their water shut off valve because if you do have pipes that burst, you will be able to shut the water off and not have to wait for an emergency plumber to come and locate and turn the water off for you.
Even if a plumber or landscaper goes into a home and makes an inspection to see that pipes and irrigation lines are protected, that fire sprinkler lines are protection and there is proper insulation there have been several cases with this last freeze cycle where the main line has frozen. This issue cannot always be fixed. If the main goes under the slab or driveway or is under the home, the plumber cannot always get to that area and it turns out to be a “wait and see” and wait and thaw” game. It is not always prudent and cost effective to go to the expense of digging a line up to try and locate a frozen line. This has been an odd winter with such a deep frost line and there have been many cases in town where the main water line has frozen and there is really no immediate solution with those cases except to best guess where the freeze might be. There are many families in town with frozen water mains even today. One of the cutest stories, if being without water can be cute, is that Jeanette S. and her husband in Eagle Ridge have been without water for 8 days due to a frozen water main. Jeanette said they are pretending to be on an extended camping trip. The only difference is they have a comfortable bed, TV, wonderful neighbors who are supplying them with water and they have warm heat in the house. Jeanette has been enjoying take out dinners and they are making the best of a bad situation. Talk about finding resolve, I am not so sure I could exist without water for 8 days and counting.