Preventing Plumbing Emergencies this Winter

frozen pipeIf you live north of the 35th latitude, then you’re going to have to deal with a few bitterly cold nights this winter. These low temperatures can lead to problems for your home’s plumbing – problems that you don’t have to consider during the warmer months of the year. In order to protect your home from the impending cold, follow these guidelines and take a preventative stand against plumbing emergencies this winter:

Problem: Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the most common and potentially most damaging of all plumbing issues you may run into this winter. Since water expands when it freezes, frozen pipes can burst – leaving you with no running water, and a giant mess to clean up in the aftermath.

How to avoid:

  • Insulate pipes in cold parts of house (foam padding and insulated tape are easy to find and effective solutions).
  • Trickle water from your home’s spouts overnight (movement prevents water from freezing)
  • Caulk pipes at house entry points to reduce draft.
  • Keep the cupboard doors below your sink open to keep pipes warm.
  • If your pipes freeze, immediately turn off the main water valve and contact a professional such as McLouglin PHC.

 

Problem: Clogged Drain

Warm temperatures facilitate movement, while cold temperatures impede movement. Your sink’s drain can clog much more easily during the winter months than it would in the summer. Also, winter is the season of food holidays — and all the best foods are full of delicious, viscous fat. This all creates a perfect storm for clogged drains.

How to avoid:

  • Avoid disposing excess fat and grease from holiday meals down your drain. Bag it and trash it, instead.
  • Use drain un-blocker every other month to avoid backups.
  • Use a drain cover to catch all the large debris before it gets stuck in your pipes.

 

Problem: Blocked Gutters

When it’s warm, gutters assist in water drainage. When it’s cold, water can freeze in your gutters and damage your roof. The best way to avoid damage to your gutters is to keep them cleared of debris to facilitate easy water drainage.

How to avoid:

  • Clean out gutters before the nights drop below freezing.
  • Invest in gutter caps to prevent future build-up of debris.

 

Problem: Your Septic Tank

This one is self-evident. Any septic tank problem is a big problem.

How to avoid:

  • Make sure to get maintenance done BEFORE the ground freezes. It becomes much more difficult and much more risky to do maintenance and draining when the permafrost sets in.

Using these easy tips, you can rule out most of your risk for plumbing disaster this winter. Remember, prevention is always less costly than repair.

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