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Could Another Big Freeze Lead to a Flood in Your Home? Act Now to Protect Your Pipes This Winter

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The winter of 2015 was particularly harsh in south-eastern regions of Australia, with Melbourne experiencing its coldest winter in 26 years. With the possibility of another freezing season approaching this year, protecting your home from the devastating effects of sub-zero temperatures needs to be at the top of every household's priority list.

How a Freeze Can Lead to a Flood

When the water inside a pipe freezes, it expands, which can cause the pipe to split open. When the weather warms up and the ice melts, the water flows out through the split in the pipe, potentially causing serious damage to your floors, walls and other parts of your property. You need to take action to prevent this outcome to protect yourself from large home repair bills.

Step 1: Insulate Your Pipes

The most important factor in protecting your home from a winter flood is insulation. Water pipes often pass through poorly insulated parts of the home, such as attics and basements, where they are at risk of freezing. You can significantly reduce this risk by wrapping the pipes in insulation foam to keep them warm even when the weather turns cold. Purchase insulation foam from a local hardware store and use heat-resistant tape to secure it to your hot and cold water pipes, taking care not to leave any sections exposed.

Step 2: Disconnect Your Hose

If temperatures in your region drop below zero, your garden hose is very likely to freeze. The pressure imposed on your plumbing system by a frozen garden hose can cause a pipe inside your home to split open, leading to a flood that could seriously damage your property. Before the cold weather hits, disconnect your hose and put it into storage for the winter.

Step 3: Turn Off the Water When You're Not Home

Temperatures inside homes can fall dramatically when the residents are not present. Before you leave for your winter break, turn off the water supply using the stop tap and drain water from your pipes by opening the kitchen and bathroom taps.

Step 4: Let Professionals Deal With Frozen Pipes

Thawing out a frozen pipe can lead to a flood if the pipe has burst. Rather than cranking up the heating system when water stops flowing from the tap, call an emergency plumber right away. A plumber can locate the ice blockage in your plumbing system and safely replace any damaged sections of pipe.