Dangers of Water Leaks: Winterization and Prevention
Water Leaks in the US
- The average home wastes 10,000 gallons of water a year through leaks, which is enough to fill a backyard swimming pool.
- 10% of homes waster 90 gallons or more per day through leaks - that's more than three swimming pools per year!
Water Damage in the Home
- Large scale leaks, like those caused by ruptured pipes, can cause flooding in the home. The result is property damage.
- Mold growth is a risk if the water isn't properly removed and the impacted area completely dried.
- Repairing pipes and replacing damaged property can cost thousands of dollars.
- Check your usage -- a home likely has a leak if water usage is over 12,000 gallons per month in the winter.
- Listen: new noises or dripping sounds can indicate leaks before you spot the damage.
- Small leaks, such as leaking toilet flappers or dripping faucets and shower heads, are easily fixed at home.
- You may be able to fix drips using simple pipe tape and a wrench.
- Before freezing nights, insulate all exposed pipes using foam or fiberglass insulation.
- Consider installing plastic piping, which is more tolerant to temperature changes than metal.
- Shut off the water supply to exterior drains and pipes.
- Purge your sprinkler system of remaining water with compressed air.
This infographic and information provided by Her Home Repair. Additional sources include: http://epa.gov/watersense/pubs/fixleak.html