The extreme weather we’ve had in Illinois puts a lot of stress on houses. Recently we heard from one of our customers, who returned from a trip to find gallons of water in the basement, from a burst pipe. Fortunately, our friend has insurance to cover the cost of clean-up and repair.
You can take these steps to protect yourself from a similar mishap:
1) Find the cause of drafts near exposed pipes. If you find a small crack or hole in a wall, have it fixed as soon as possible. Insulate pipes near the crack until it is repaired. You can find pipe insulation sleeves at a hardware store.
2) If you’re leaving home for a short time, leave a faucet dripping slightly. This won’t prevent freezing, but will reduce pressure that could cause a pipe to burst. By the way, don’t turn the heat all the way down. You may save on heating costs that way, but can increase the risk of a frozen pipe.
3) Before going on a long trip, or when shutting down a vacation home, drain the water supply. Turn off the main water valve, and then turn on every water faucet (including shower heads, bath taps, etc.) Keep the faucets open until all the water has run out.