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How To Prevent Pipe Damage In Winter?

by - October 31, 2018

As the temperature drops in winter, you will have a bunch of problems at hand. Plumbing issues become more apparent in freezing weather. Typically, cold weather will cause the pipes to freeze, and this can be a big problem, especially for landlords who stay away and have given out properties on rent, only to get distress calls from landlords later. Simple steps and precautions can go a long way in preventing damage to pipes in the tough winters, and in this post, we have a few suggestions that may come in handy. 

Should you be concerned?

Yes, absolutely! Depending on the temperature, pipes can freeze in most parts of the house. However, the ones that are located in the unheated areas of the house, like the attic and basement, would probably freeze first. Keep in mind that if the pipes are damaged, you are likely to have bigger problems at hand. Firstly, there will be an obstruction in the flow of water, which can be a bummer, especially in the winter, when you may not have a reliable Erie plumbing company around. However, the bigger problem that such pipes may burst, which means that can cause flooding and considerable damage to the plumbing system, and you may have to spend hundreds of dollars to get things into place. As such, experts recommend homeowners to take the necessary steps to prevent both damage and freezing of pipes. 

Tips to follow

1. Fix the doors. First things first, close the doors that are not in use. For example, if you have water pipes passing through the garage, you should definitely close the door, to prevent as much of cold air as possible. In all likeliness, you are probably having a heating system in place, so make sure that doors inside the house are open at all times, so that warm and heated air can circulate easily, keeping the pipes warm. 

2. The heat should be on. The simplest way to keep a tab on freezing pipes is to keep the heat on, and with safety aspects taken care of, you can let the heating system on, even when you are away at work. If you have tenants at home, it might be a tad more complicated to convince them to do the same, but that’s what you need to convince them. 

3. Get the plumbing system checked. Ahead of the winters, make sure that the plumbing system has been checked by experts. This is of utmost importance, because all leaks and drips must be fixed. If you have damaged pipes or ones that need replacement, it is important to get the repairs done ahead of the freezing season. 

4. Consider pipe insulation. Many homeowners prefer spending a tad more on pipe insulation than handling the complications later. You can always call a reliable plumbing company, ask them for solutions and get an estimate before giving a nod for the job. The idea is to ensure that the pipes are protected, and that reduces cost of repairs and damage to possessions. 

5. Let it drip. It is also a good idea to let the water drip slowly from the faucets, which can prevent freezing as the warm air will circulate through the pipes. Yes, this can mean that some water will be wasted, but in the long run, you can prevent considerable damage. If you are planning to go on a vacation, this is a good way to prevent bursting of pipes, which can actually damage more personal belongings. 

6. Keep a check on the heating system. No matter whether you are home or not, you would want to ensure that the thermostat is set at 50 degrees Fahrenheit at the very least. While there is no denying that the energy bills will increase considerably, but eventual damage to the plumbing system can be avoided. It is not just about the costs, but also about the inconvenience caused. 

7. Turn off water supply. If you are planning to go out of the town for a longer period, it is best to turn off the water supply and ensure that the pipes are drained out. You may not be able to prevent freezing completely, but yes, some of the damage caused by burst pipes can be avoided for sure. 

8. Go for yearly inspections. Besides seasonal check, it is probably a good idea to consider calling one of the known plumbers Erie PA to check the plumbing components and pipes yearly. Annual check is an absolute must by all means, because it also helps in finding and fixing common plumbing problems right then and there, so you don’t have huge repairs ahead of winters. 

Dealing with frozen pipes

Ideally, you should be calling a plumbing service to deal with the freezing issue, but it is important to detect the freeze first. In all likeliness, pipes that enter your home are likely to be frozen first, and as such, you should consider opening the faucet, as the pipes are being treated. You can use a heater to melt the ice on the pipes, and as that happens, the open faucet will ensure that water runs easily. If you cannot wait for experts to come over, you can always an electric heating pad, which can be wrapped around the pipe to heat it up. DO NOT use any open flame stove or product near the pipes, which can cause major issues, including fire. Heat should be applied, until the water pressure has been completely restored, and while this can take a while, that’s the only viable solution you have at hand. 

It is also a good idea to check all the pipes of your home to find the ones that need attention. Keep the number of a known plumbing company handy at all times, so that you can deal with burst pipes and other such plumbing concerns, without having to wait for a very long time. For more details, please check online, and if possible, spend on pipe insulation, which is the best to prevent damage in the long run. 

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