…And the Costs That Come With Them

Winter getaways are good for the soul. Even a short trip can be just what you need to cure your cabin fever by providing a nice change of scenery.

While it may be tempting to quickly pack your things and hit the road, it’s important to address your plumbing first. What begins as a clean getaway can turn into a messy homecoming if your pipes freeze and burst. Not to mention the amount of money that’s at stake. According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, burst pipes can cost more than $5,000 in water damage. And you don’t need to be on vacation for the situation to unfold. Pipes can freeze and burst at any time if temperatures dip low enough.

In addition to our heating services, such as boiler repair in Oak Park, IL, we help homeowners protect their plumbing during the brutal Illinois winters. Want to take extra precaution before temperatures plummet? Here’s what you can do to protect your pipes and prevent a costly plumbing disaster in your home.

Make Your Pipes a Priority

Just because you can’t see all the pipes in your home, this doesn’t mean they should be overlooked. Considering how much water damage can cost, you should always make your pipes a priority during the winter. Here’s how you can prepare your pipes for the freezing weather:

  • Insulate piping that’s exposed to the cold. Pipes that run through unheated spaces (garage, attic, exterior walls, etc.) are especially vulnerable to freezing. If you don’t know how to properly insulate your pipes, our plumbers can assist you.
  • Avoid lowering the temperature at night. It’s tempting to lower the heat at night to save money. But when temperatures are already freezing, this can put your pipes at risk. Until the cold weather subsides, try to keep your home at a consistent temperature 24/7.
  • Keep garage doors closed. Conserve as much heat as possible to prevent your pipes from freezing.
  • Never let the heat in your home fall below 55 degrees. “Why use the heat if I’m not even going to be home?” Unfortunately, many homeowners fall into this trap. During the winter, never let your home temperature fall below 55 degrees. Otherwise, you’re creating the perfect opportunity for your pipes to burst and your home to flood.
  • Drain all outside hoses. Close the inside valves supplying outdoor spigots and open the outside spigots to drain any excess water. The goal is to break the connection between your indoor water supply and the outside hose that can freeze and put pressure on your pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom. When it’s really cold outside, open the cabinet doors to give your pipes some additional heat.
  • Let water drip from the faucet. Running water can reduce pressure on the pipes and prevent them from freezing. During cold snaps, let water drip from faucets that are connected to exposed piping.
  • Seal cracks or holes near any exposed piping. Eliminating these gaps will preserve more heat and keep your pipes warmer.
  • For extended trips, turn off and drain your home’s water system. If you’re leaving home for a while, turn off the water to prevent any mishaps. We also recommend having a friend drop by periodically to make sure everything’s OK at home.
  • Maintain your plumbing with our Home Service Plan. There’s no better way to stay on top of your plumbing than with professional maintenance. Members of our Plumbing Plan will receive a number of services, including a camera inspection of your sewer system, an inspection of the outside faucets and exposed pipes and much more. Plus, you’ll receive VIP treatment with priority emergency service and 15 percent discounts on plumbing repairs. To learn more about our Home Service Plan and the different plans we offer, click here. 

Protect Your Plumbing With the Experts

Burst pipes cause a great deal of stress and aggravation. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to prevent this from happening in your home. If you have any questions about your pipes and how to protect them, ask the experts online and we’ll get back to you with a detailed answer.

Whether you need boiler installation services in Oak Park, IL or plumbing repair in the Chicago North Shore area, our team is ready to assist you this winter. To schedule service, call American Vintage Home at 847.999.4595 or contact us online today.