Plumbing In The Wintertime
Usually, your home’s plumbing can take a lot of abuse over the years. The typical use of the kitchen, bathrooms, and other utilities don’t strain your pipes as much as the weather outside. That is why the winter months can usually be the hardest on your plumbing. When the temperatures drop and the freezing starts, your pipes are most at risk. For pipes in exterior walls or outside, this is even truer. If you haven’t properly winterized your plumbing, it’s not too late. Whether you are dealing with emergencies or trying to prevent them during this winter, here are a few tips and tricks to keep your plumbing working during the cold.
Winterizing Your Plumbing
The easiest way to deal with winter plumbing emergencies is to prevent them in the first place. To do this, it is important to protect your pipes as much as possible. Winterizing them typically involves insulating at-risk sections of your plumbing with good insulation materials like polyurethane foam. If you take any long vacations during the winter, you can also reduce the risk of common winter plumbing damage by shutting off the water and letting your faucet drip to drain the excess. This will keep your pipes from collecting water while you are gone. Generally, it’s not too late to start winterizing your plumbing today.
If you don’t have the luxury of preventing a disaster, the next best step is to fix the issue as quickly as possible. To do this, you need to know what to look for. In general, anything out of the ordinary is a sign that something is wrong with your plumbing. Be on the lookout for common issues like a drop in water pressure, leaks, puddles, or a complete lack of water flow in your plumbing. This can turn into water failing to flow from faucets, toilets not flushing, or showers no longer working as expected. Usually, these things happen because your pipes have become damaged due to the cold. As water turns to ice in the pipes, the cold and weight can make the metal more fatigued and brittle. At some point, if left untreated, the metal will begin to crack and bust in places. This will prevent water from flowing correctly.
Steps To Take
If you find yourself facing a major disaster, there are a couple simple steps you can take without any plumbing experience or knowledge. The first and most important step is to shut off your water immediately. The longer you allow water to freely flow through your pipes, especially if it is freezing outside, the greater the risk you face. If you have discovered any kind of leaks or puddles where water shouldn’t be, make sure to contain the excess water as well. Mop it up or isolate it using towels to prevent the water from doing any damage to the surrounding floors, walls, or ceilings. Finally, contact a professional immediately. You may be confident in your ability to take care of the issue yourself, but a professional will be able to diagnose any problems you may not immediately see. This can include additional wear and tear on your plumbing or other areas with cracks and fatigues that you can’t see. A professional will also be able to take care of these issues quickly and efficiently.
Keeping A Watchful Eye
The best thing you can do during the winter for your plumbing is to keep an eye out for any issues. This goes beyond just paying attention when you are using the water in your home. Every now and then, at least once or twice during the winter season, check out the pipes under the sinks or around the toilets and showers for any signs of stress. Make sure to run the water in less used areas of the home as well. Finally, take the necessary preventative steps if you will be gone for a long period of time. If you do experience an issue, feel free to contact us immediately. Give us a call or check out our website for more information on the services we can offer you any time of the year.