Leak issues can happen during winter, and this season is the worst time to be doing plumbing repairs for apparent reasons. This is the season that puts the most stress on your pipes, sometimes even pushing your plumbing to its limits. Frozen pipes can cause flooding, which eventually leads to water damage and mold contamination. NICB reports that the most active months for water damage claims were January and February. No surprise there as these are the coldest months of the year.
When you have leaky faucets, or a clogged pipe, heading into winter, further damage to your plumbing lines is inevitable, and this is why you must address the issues before the cold season arrives. Otherwise, you may have to spend for costly and time-consuming repairs.
With that said, here are a few tips to avoid leak issues in your home during winter:
Insulate Your Pipes
When the temperature drops, the water inside the pipes freezes, expands, and puts extreme pressure on the pipes, which might cause them to burst, and then cause flooding to your home or yard. Insulation protects your pipes. Wrap your uninsulated pipes with foam tubes and secure them with duct tape.
In addition to insulating your pipes, you should also consider insulating and adding heating to your home’s unheated areas. Doing this ensures that the pipes located within those areas don’t freeze and burst. Usually, these areas are the garage and the basement.
Inspect and Clean Your Gutters and Drain Tile
The winter season can cause a blocked drain tile. Check them and make sure that they’re not blocked, but if you notice any blocks, make sure to have them repaired before the winter season arrives with the snow that could cover up your gutters.
Disconnect and Shut Off the Supply of Any Outdoor Pipes
If you have interior shut off valves that lead outdoors, make sure to close them. You won’t be using your hose or sprinkler in the winter, so it’s a good idea to disconnect them as well until the cold weather thaws out.
Fix Noticeable Leaks Right Away
In all circumstances, repairing plumbing leaks at the first sign of trouble is always the best time. Waiting to fix them, especially before heading into the cold season, will always eventually lead to more significant problems. Check all of your faucets in the bathrooms, kitchen, and garden. If you notice any drips or puddles around your faucets, have them fixed right away before winter arrives.
Hidden leaks can slowly damage your home, which will require more expensive repairs. To make sure that your plumbing is well inspected, don’t hesitate to hire plumbers in OKC. Be confident about your plumbing system and save money in the long run!
Drain Water Heater
When you leave the water to freeze inside a tank, this hard water can cause sediment buildup, causing rust to form inside. This rusting could then lead to leaks or, worse, contaminate your water supply.
If your water heater is rusted or already old, you should consider replacing it before winter comes, but draining it is enough if it’s not that old.
Inspect and Clean Sump Pump and Its Pit
If flooding occurs, your sump pump is the last line of defense that keeps your house free from pooling water, protecting it against mold and mildew. The cold weather can freeze your sump pump when exposed to freezing temperatures, causing it to malfunction or stop working totally. This malfunction can cause water to enter your basement and flood it.
Before winter comes in, check to see if the sump pump has any signs of dirt buildup and flow issues. Also, make sure to test the sump pump, and see to it that it is pumping water efficiently away from your house.
Keep a Dripping Faucet
If your water pipes pass through uninsulated or unheated areas, you could prevent burst pipes by allowing a slow drip on your faucets. Doing this relieves pressure in the pipes, keeping the water inside from freezing. Even if the water in the pipe does freeze, the pressure being released from the dripping faucet will drastically reduce a burst pipe’s likelihood. If the still water inside does start to freeze, it could lead to broken plumbing and flood damage.
Allow Warm Room Air To Reach Enclosed Pipes
Pipes hidden inside cabinets, especially in the kitchen, and bathroom don’t usually get circulation, and that’s why warmer air can’t reach them. In addition to opening cabinets, you can also consider removing ceiling tiles to allow the warm air to reach the pipes in those enclosed areas. Doing this helps keep your pipes a little warmer, preventing a ruptured pipe.
As it is most recommended to conduct home plumbing inspection at least once a year, you might choose to leave it to the professionals to spot any potential issues with your systems that you could’ve missed. Doing this ensures that you can get through the winter season without having to face any plumbing issues.
That being said, if a winter leak does happen, you must call for an emergency plumbing service, especially when you notice any sign of winter leak issues. The symptoms range from utility bill spikes (the bigger the spike, the bigger the leak), low water pressure, noise like loud banging or flushing sounds, to flooding.
If you also discover water damage that is expensive to repair and poses a health risk because of the mold or mildew, that is the biggest telltale sign of a winter leak. This untreated water damage can then lead to structural damage as pests such as termites can populate in the area where the water has accumulated. You must never hesitate to contact a plumber in Oklahoma City, OK because residents trust them during dire situations like this.
Don’t let your home plumbing (and your wallets) pay a high price for failing to prepare for the winter. Follow the tips above to keep your pipes from freezing during the cold season; save yourself and your family from the high costs and the stress.
Need professional help to set your plumbing up for winter? Contact Southwest Mechanical Contractors today. Call us at 405-632-3381.