As the weather gets warmer in April, attention turns to the outdoors for home improvement projects. This often includes using an outdoor spigot for the first time since winter. However, it is important to pay attention when turning on the water outside for the first time as it is a common spot to suffer damage from freezing and thawing.
The first step is knowing where the water shutoff to your home is located – If there is a problem with a damaged pipe, shutting off the water quickly will limit the damage. Water shutoffs are most often found near the water heater inside the home or close to the water meter outside of a home.
What to look for when turning on a water spigot – One of the main signs of a possible problem is a variation in water pressure. Sudden bursts of water or a sudden loss of pressure can indicate an issue. The most common place for a spigot to be damaged is where it exits the wall or right inside the wall. This is the place most susceptible to freezing. If you shut off the water from the spigot and can still hear water running, it is a major sign of an issue.
Check inside for any water leaks – When running a spigot for the first couple of times after winter, it is always a good idea to check the inside of the home for any signs of water damage. A broken pipe leading to a spigot will most often be located close to the exterior wall.
Monitor when sprinklers are turned back on – Another cause of water damage inside of a home is a broken sprinkler line. If these lines were not properly winterized, they can freeze and crack during the winter months. A cracked sprinkler line causes ground saturation and a possible water intrusion through a foundation crack. Damaged sprinkler lines can also fill basement window wells with water. When turning sprinklers back on, it is important to monitor for proper water pressure and check the inside of the home for any water damage.