Winter leaks can lead to more severe problems within your home; these include mold, rotting, and flooding. In Vancouver, plumbing problems and leaks are common in the winter, due to the high levels of precipitation. Here are 5 ways to prevent winter plumbing leaks!
Clean Your Gutters
It is absolutely essential to clean your drain spouts and gutters before the rain and snow starts in Vancouver. When your gutters are full, water and debris can build up. This backup causes leaks if there is enough water pooling in your gutters. It's best to have your gutters cleared every 6 months. We suggest once in late fall and again in early spring.
Insulate Your Pipes
If you have exposed outdoor pipes, you can prepare them for winter and avoid leaks by getting them insulated. The goal is to prevent the pipes from freezing. When pipes freeze, the ice inside expands and can crack your pipes.
This causes leaks when the ice melts. It’s best to have a professional insulate your pipes, however, a fast and easy way to insulate your pipes on your own is by using insulated foam tape, which you can purchase at your local hardware store. This tape is usually self-adhesive and it quickly works to insulate your pipes and keep them from freezing.
Turn Off The Water Supply If You Go On Vacation
If you are leaving your home during the winter for a vacation, it’s a good idea to turn off your water supply. Shut off outdoor taps and faucets along with water supply valves for your major appliances. Turn your water heater to low to avoid evaporation. If you do not want to shut your water off while you are away, have a trusted friend or neighbor check on your home.
Tarp Your Roof To Avoid Leaks
If you have a flat roof or skylights, you may be more at risk for winter leaks. This is especially true if you have had leaks in your roof in the past. Often, water and snow will pool if your roof is not slanted. If your roof starts leaking, call a professional immediately.
However, to prevent leaks on a flat roof, a fast and cost-effective way to do so is to use a simple tarp. You can buy a large tarp at your local hardware store. Use nails to keep the tarp in place.
Learn more about how to tarp your roof here.
Get Your Storm Drains Inspected
Many flooding and leaks, particularly in basements, can be prevented by a foundational drain and sump pump inspection. If your home was built on a sloping lot or lowlands, as is common in the lower-mainland, chances are you are at risk for leaks in the basement during the winter.
All homes are required to have a foundational drainage system, to drain water away from the home and prevent it from pooling in your yard. A good sign that these drains may need repair or replacement, is if you notice pools of water forming in your yard. Call your plumber immediately if you notice pooled water, or water leaking into the basement. This is a sure sign your foundational drainage system is not working.
Contact Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating For Winter Leaks
Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating has serviced Vancouver and the Lower-Mainland for over 50 years. We bring local knowledge to the job along with education and industry expertise. We offer 24/7 emergency plumbing service because we know that no one plans for a plumbing emergency to happen. If you are experiencing a leak in your home this winter, contact us for all your plumbing repair needs.