Winter Plumbing Tips
Plumbing issues in your home are never welcome, even less so in the winter months when the weather is unpredictable and cold. The times that put the most stress on your plumbing system are the times where you have guests in the house, large events, or when there is a chance of the pipes freezing during a winter storm. Unfortunately, this includes most of the holiday season. But there are some practical things you can do to prepare your plumbing for winter and make sure your family stays comfortable throughout the entire season. Insulate Pipes Depending on what part of the country you are in, temperatures can drop considerably during the night or during storms which puts your pipes at risk of freezing over and creating problems. Start by going around your home and doing a visual inspection of every area that has exposed pipes, which are usually found in the garage, basement, or crawlspace. If those pipes are not insulated, it would be a good idea to either have them professionally insulated or perform the job yourself with some basic supplies from the hardware store. Fix Existing Leaks Immediately Leaks can if left unchecked become big issues down the road. That is why despite the inconvenience or the size of the leak it must be fixed immediately to avoid damage to other parts or your home. Leaking is more common in the winter because ice and condensation forms around pipes and then melts as the temperature gets warmer. Then once that water freezes again it expands, creating room for more water to seep in. This cycle may not be harmful at first, but if allowed to continue it could possibly lead to a burst pipe. Perform a visual inspection around the fixtures in your bathrooms and kitchen to see if there are any signs of dampness or if the surface is unusually wet. Service Your Water Heater The last thing you want in short supply during the winter months is hot water. That is why it is imperative to have your water heater inspected and drained before the cold winter temperatures reach their peak. While you can perform this work yourself, it’s only something you should do if you feel comfortable working with the plumbing inside your home. We would suggest our team do a visual inspection to find any signs of rust or corrosion and then draining the water heater to clear out any kind of sediment that may be present. Service Kitchen Plumbing This tip is worth mentioning simply because your home’s kitchen undergoes a tremendous amount of food preparation and use during the winter months and especially in the holiday season when you may have guests staying with you. We would suggest servicing your garbage disposal and making sure you are aware of what food is being put down the drain. Avoid hard or stringy food waste that could get caught in the blades or cause a clog. Also, remember to never pour hot fats or oils down the drain which can congeal and create clogs and issues later on.