nova scotia winterAs winter and sub-zero temperatures descend upon Nova Scotia, freezing temperatures can burst pipes and result in flooding. Here are a few tips to keep the pipes warm and the water running properly.

Turn up the heat:  While you might be trying to save money by keeping the heat low and wearing a sweater, not having the heat high enough could cost you more in the long run.

Expose pipes to air: Pipes that run through crawl spaces or inside basement bathroom vanities are often shielded from the heated air in the rest of the house. Open up those spaces, so warm air can reach the pipes and keep the water inside them in liquid form. While we always think of the cold as the culprit, wind is another factor. A little hole in your basement wall can cause pipes 10 feet inside the house to freeze.

Don’t know how to shut off your water? Learn: Nothing sets off panic like water suddenly pouring across a floor or cascading through a wall cavity. Getting the water shut off quickly can limit the damage but many homeowners don’t know where their home’s water shutoff is located, or how it works.

Water not running properly? Don’t ignore it: If it’s the dead of winter and you open a tap that was working yesterday but no water comes out, don’t walk away and forget about it. It likely means the water is frozen somewhere in the line. Acting fast now might save the pipe from bursting. Get warm air on the pipes and call a plumber. Or …. get set to get wet.

Don’t forget outside taps: A common source of plumber calls are supply lines that feed exterior garden spigots. Home owners need to remember to shut off and drain those lines in the fall, before the cold weather arrives.