Bitterly cold temps can spell disaster for your plumbing. The Better Business Bureau has some tips you can follow to prevent the stress and extensive repairs.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Bitter cold temperatures can spell out disaster for your home - frozen plumbing lines, burst pipes and water damage.
The Better Business Bureau has some tips to follow to prevent the stress and the expensive repairs.
Wrap all exposed pipes that are in unheated areas.
Remove garden hoses from outside faucets.
Cover the vents around the foundation of your home.
Let outside faucets drip 24 hours a day (about five drips per minute).
Shut off the water to any washing machines in unheated garages.
Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls to allow heat in.
If the worst happens and the pipes freeze and burst:
Cut off the water valve. Call your water provider if you don’t know where the valve is.
Call your insurance agent and file a claim.
Wet items should be thrown away or thoroughly dried within 48 hours of the flooding to prevent mold.
If you need a plumber:
Be wary of plumbers who show up unsolicited making offers.
Beware of price gouging. Some businesses mark up their products by as much as 500 percent due to high demand of plumbing services in cold weather.
Shop around. Get competitive bids and check references and licensing requirements.
Check with BBB for a credible business.
Request a written contract detailing all services, materials, and labor. Make sure the plumber signs it.
Never pay for anything in advance or with cash.
See more at the Better Business Bureau website.
Sarah Plake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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