A world covered in fresh fallen snow makes for a beautiful Christmas morning tableau, but a flooded basement? Not really part of the holiday spirit. You can easily avoid any unwanted holiday plumbing disasters by taking a few preventative measures in advance.
Clean Your Gutters
Though you should be doing regular maintenance and checks on eavestroughs throughout the year, now is a good time to get out the ladder and check your eavestroughs for leaf and debris build up. They should be properly secured, and guiding water away from the house. Check that downspouts are clear of blockage, and directing water away from the house so that it doesn’t pool near the foundation of your home, which can lead to seepage and rot.
Clear Away Snow
When you’re shoveling your drive and pathways after a big snowfall, make sure to toss it well away from the house to ensure that when snow finally melts it doesn’t seep inside your home.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
Because water expands as it freezes, it can put pressure on your pipes, which can cause them to burst. Pipes that freeze often are those that are exposed to harsh cold, like swimming pool supply lines, outdoor faucets, even those that are indoors but located in unheated areas like the basement, garage or attic. It’s worth noting that a small crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, which can end up causing severe flooding, structural damage, and that dreaded mold. Prevent frozen pipes by insulating them, or checking the integrity of existing insulation. Wrap uninsulated pipes in heat cables or tape, and make sure that cold air doesn’t leak inside where pipes are located. If you are out of town for the holiday, don’t turn off the heat – lower the thermostat to 55 degrees and let your taps drip.
Get Help Fast
As we all know, even “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” and after all your careful prep and planning, you may find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing a reliable emergency plumber. Make the call as soon as you can to avoid serious water or structural damage.
Emergency plumbing services can be incredibly expensive, though necessary in the midst of a winter plumbing disaster. Taking advantage of basement waterproofing well in advance of winter, however, will help keep your home dry and emergency free well into the new year and beyond.