Freeze-Proofing Your Condo

Winter Building with PoolIt’s still winter and the Alberta Clipper and the Polar Vortex have not yet retired for the year. Protecting your condo’s pipes from freezing should be still on the top of your mind when another cold snap hits.  In the northern areas of the country, we can still get freezing nights in early May! Burst water pipes mean a huge headache for you and a major expense so it makes sense to stay vigilant. Also, make sure you have your Homeowners Insurance up to date. It will help you to pay for the damages if your pipes burst, in addition to all the other protections it offers.

Follow these tips during freeze warnings (temperatures below freezing) to avoid costly problems:

Leave indoor water faucets dripping, especially those on exterior walls

Remember, just a slow drip will do. There’s no need for a steady stream of water, which can get expensive when running often. Keeping some circulation of water in your pipes will help prevent them from freezing.

Open cabinet doors under sinks

Again, pay special attention to pipes on exterior walls that have more exposure to the cold. Opening your cabinet doors allows for warm air to circulate.

Keep your heat on, at 50 degrees or warmer

Whenever you leave your condo for extended periods of time, keep your heat running to keep your apartment warmer than the freezing weather outside.  Many a vacation has been ruined when owners arrive to an ice castle that used to be their home.

Keep track of heating fuel levels in your tank

If your condo is heated by oil or propane, periodically check the levels in your tank.  This is doubly important before you leave for a vacation or even a weekend trip. If the tank runs empty, heat goes off and the house freezes.

Frozen hoseUnhook outdoor hoses

If you have an outdoor space, make sure your garden hose is unhooked from the faucet. Any water left in the hose can freeze over and apply pressure on the faucet, thus on your pipes! And split your hose!

Make sure all pets are inside

In freezing temperatures, make sure your furry friends are warm and inside!

Locate your master water turn-off in case of burst pipes

These often look like an outdoor faucet and can be located in many different places within your condo. Make sure you know where yours is located. In case pipes do burst, turning that cut-off will stop water from flowing. Keep in mind that the biggest problem from burst pipes is usually the water damage that occurs as the pipes defrost and water starts gushing out from all the broken sections.

Any other cold-weather tips to keep your apartment safe and secure this winter? Post below!

Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation. Since finishing her college career with a degree in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different places over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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