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Winterizing Your Home

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The best way to winterize your home is to prepare ahead of time. Start by making sure that you have enough insulation around your windows and doors. You should also make sure that you have enough ventilation in your house. If you don’t have enough ventilation, then you could end up having problems with mold and mildew. Make sure that you clean out any debris that may be blocking your vents. Also, make sure that you keep your heating system running at least once per week.

Here are a few tips that will help you with winterizing your home:

Drain Cleaner

Drain cleaner is an effective way to remove any clogs or buildup in your pipes. If you have a drain problem, try using some drain cleaner first before calling a plumber. You can use a plunger or put some baking soda down the drain to help unclog it. If that doesn’t work, then call a professional plumber.

Pipe Lubricant

Pipe lubricants are great for keeping your pipes clean and working well. You can find pipe lubricants at hardware stores and they are cheap. Just make sure not to use them if you don’t know how to properly install them.


A plunger is a tool that helps clear clogged drains. A plunger is simply a small rubber cup attached to a long handle. Use the plunger to push debris out of the drain.

Water Softener

Water softeners are great for removing hard water deposits from your pipes. Hard water causes problems for your plumbing system and can cause rusting pipes. To soften your water, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt per gallon of water.


Bleach is a chemical that kills bacteria and prevents mold from forming in your pipes. It’s best to avoid bleach near sinks and toilets, however, because it can damage those fixtures.


Salt is a natural substance that helps keep your pipes running smoothly. Put about 1/8th of a teaspoon of salt in each sink and tub.


Vinegar is acidic and can be used to prevent corrosion in your pipes. Add vinegar to your drinking water to help prevent rusting.

What do Do if Your Pipes Freeze

If you wake up to find one or more of your water pipes frozen, there are several things you can try. But first a word of caution – be very, very careful, whatever you do. Thawing out a frozen pipe can potentially cause huge problems you never dreamed of, in terms of cracked pipes and flooding.

If you know where the pipe is frozen, you might attempt to thaw it in several ways:

Allow warm inside air to get at the frozen pipe

As mentioned, opening cupboard doors in the vicinity of the pipe can raise the temperature enough to melt the water and get the pipe flowing again.

Try to force some warm air toward the frozen pipe

The old hairdryer trick. It can thaw the ice in the pipe, if you know exactly where it’s frozen.

Keep in mind – avoid trying anything which will damage your pipes and cause  to break or burst pipes upon thawing out. You’ll have an even bigger problem and mess on your hands. In any event, always know where your main water cut-off is for your home, in case you need to quickly shut it off.

What NOT to Do if Your Pipes Freeze?

Never, EVER attempt to thaw frozen pipes with an open flame of any kind. This is an extreme fire hazard. There are flammable materials all over your wall cavities, in the vicinity of your frozen pipes. Take no chances. NEVER try to thaw frozen pipes with a flame of any kind. There are horrific stories that emerge every winter due to this kind of action. Don’t try it.

Emergency Plumbing

Contact a Professional Plumber for Your Winterizing Your Home Issue

If you’ve tried a couple of remedies for your frozen pipes and have not been successful, contact a professional residential plumber. They have the expertise and know-how to get your pipes thawed out and flowing again, without causing damage. They can help you locate the exact location of the freeze-up and correct it, efficiently and safely.

Read more about how to prepare for extreme cold.

Our office is located in Markham, so if you have an emergency with frozen pipes, and you look for a plumber in Markham, contact us – we would be happy to help.

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