The worst damage your pipes and your home can incur involve freezing weather and flooding issues. However, there are a number of ways winter can bring on these two issues in the house and outside of it. Consider how the winter weather can cause damage, and avoid it before it occurs.
The Kitchen Sink
Many homes have kitchen sinks that share an outside wall. This is done in an effort for people to gaze out their window, but it can quickly lead to frozen pipes. Kitchen sinks typically have cabinets that cover the piping. While the rest of the home is being heated by the heater or fireplace, the area behind the cabinets are not. Should the temperature fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, this will cause these pipes to freeze, and they will back up. Leaving cabinets open for a period of time helps to avoid this issue. Also, it’s worth it to note that insulation should be done between the pipes and the wall to separate the pipes from cold temperatures, but do not attempt to insulate pipes from receiving warm temperatures. Use of heat tape is also helpful.
Many people make the mistake of leaving the hose attached to the outdoor faucet. This causes a chain reaction to occur where it begins freezing within the hose and works its way inside the walls. When a pipe is filled up with ice, it will expand and cause a pipe to burst. When this occurs, it’s not immediately evident. Often, people will discover a pipe burst when everything begins to thaw out in the spring. The lawn might become soggy from flooding. There are times that pipes can freeze within the walls and begin leaking.
Debris and Drain Cleaning
Trees are typically bare during the winter, but leaves can be all over the ground, inside gutters and drains if they weren’t maintained during the fall. Roots will seek out any source of water, and they can grow inside of drains. It’s important to have these cleaned before the winter brings on its coldest temperatures and conditions.
Winter weather can bring a mixture of snow and rain. This can cause pipes to freeze, drains to become clogged or a flooded basement. It’s important to consider the home’s run-off for water because it will help diminish the effects of flooding. If your home has poor run-off outside the home, it will find its way back to the lowest point. Having a sump pump is a good idea, but it does little good if the home strictly relies on that to avoid flooding because it will come back again.
Depending upon where the flood occurs in the home, it will create different problems. For instance, flooding and back-up issues in the bathroom can mean that septic waste could fill up your bathtub, bathroom, hallway and other areas of the home. You want to take extra precaution with a basement that is filled with water. In general, you want to cut off the main supply of power to avoid electrocution.
Damage to plumbing invariably means flooding, which can mean water damage and mold issues. Water damage is costly, and getting rid of mold is a cumbersome task. Avoid winter plumbing issues, and save money.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.
November 15, 2016