Record low temperatures have been sweeping across Canada and beyond – Egypt received its first snowfall in over a century! With winter weather warnings aplenty and serious snow accumulation, it’s fair to say most folks are feeling frozen. On these -16˚degrees days, it’s definitely function over fashion as you decide what to wear in the morning. Thick socks, thermal underwear, and your warmest winter accessories are a requirement for heading outdoors. Appropriate attire will help to protect you from frostbite, windburn, and hypothermia.
This weekend we saw an ice storm fall on one of the busiest travel and shopping weekends of the year. In Toronto alone, over 200,000 customers were still without power as of 8:00 a.m. this morning. As cleanup crews work around the clock to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers in the Greater Toronto Area, the city is bracing for another deep freeze. Weather specialists are predicting that temperatures will drop to -11 overnight, and with the cold comes a reminder that this time of year can bring major issues to your home in the way of freezing and leaking pipes.
Winter weather causes wear and tear on your home and its systems. One of the more affected areas, or at least the more noticeably affected areas, can be your pipes. When pipes freeze more often than not they split, which results in leakage. Leaking supply piping can be very dramatic. Because the piping is pressurized, a leak can do a lot of damage quickly. If there is no functional floor drain, a leaking supply pipe can flood a house.
There is a risk of freezing and leakage if pipes are installed in unheated areas, even if the pipe is insulated. This includes:
- Cold rooms
- Any other unheated space
Check to see if tub and shower fixtures are installed against exterior walls; there may be pipes inside which could freeze. In cold climates, it is good practice to have pipes installed through the floor away from the exterior wall for all fixtures. Pay special attention to this with do-it-yourself renovation work – sometimes what seems like the most convenient place to run piping can come back to bite you, or rather, leak on you. If there are pipes running through unheated spaces, electric heating cables can be installed to prevent a problem.
Looking for more renovation advice and maintenance tips? Our Home Reference Book is a great source. Free with every Carson Dunlop Home Buyer’s Inspection it’s a valuable addition to every homeowner’s library.