Spring is here, and we are finally heading outside to plant, play, and power wash! That means turning the water back on to the outdoor faucets. But do it carefully! You won’t know if your pipes froze and cracked over the winter until you turn the water back on. Even if you disconnected your garden hose, opened your spigots, and turned the water off from the inside, there may have been a tiny amount of water left in the pipe, which could have frozen, expanded, and broken the pipe. Here are a few tips to avoid a major headache and expense:
- When turning on your outdoor faucets, watch carefully for water leakage along the outer wall and inside floor. This is where the water will likely first appear.
- Stay alert and be prepared to shut off the main water supply (not just the faucet) quickly at the first sign of a leak. This will help minimize damage.
- Look for signs that water pressure has dropped. If you turn on the outside faucet and then lose water pressure in faucets nearby, you may have a pipe leak. Turn off the main water supply to that pipe from the source.
- If you open the outside faucet and water comes out of walls, shingles, or anywhere else, don’t take any chances; call in a plumber to find out what’s wrong. A burst pipe can cause major flooding in your home, which also can lead to mold.
- Try to dry out the area as quickly as possible. Damp and wet areas are prime locations for mold growth, which can take root within 24 hours. Once the repairs are complete, have a certified microbial inspector come in to test the area and make sure there is no lingering mold.