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Recognizing Winter Plumbing Issues

Recognizing Winter Plumbing Issues

Ice In Your Plumbing

Water and cold are a great combination when you are looking for ice to skate on during the winter. When it comes to your plumbing, however, the combination is never a good thing. Ice in your pipes can lead to costly and extensive repairs. This is especially true if you don’t catch an issue with your plumbing ahead of time. To prevent something drastic from happening under your nose, this article is all about what can go wrong with your plumbing during the winter. Learn about the issues and how to recognize them before they become a major headache.

The Effect Of The Cold

Most people learn from a young age that cold temperatures turn water into ice. Very few, however, learn how damaging ice can be to their plumbing if left unattended. During the winter months, water is more likely to freeze over in your plumbing, especially in pipes exposed to the outside or along the exterior walls. Since metal is a poor insulator of heat, water is practically exposed to the colder temperatures almost immediately. When they do freeze over, this makes the pipes more brittle and susceptible to cracking or breaking.

The Warning Signs

If you begin to notice that your plumbing no longer works as normal, this is usually the first and most important warning sign that there is cold related damage in your plumbing. Damage from ice will often times prevent the pipes from delivering the water where it is intended to go. This means that faucets, showerheads, toilets, and other water sources will begin to stop working. You may also begin to notice water leaking through exposed areas of your plumbing. In worst-case scenarios, your plumbing will stop functioning altogether. The first moment you see any potential sign of damage should be the exact time you call a professional to assess and repair the issues. You should also pay attention to your water heater since freezing around this area may affect the amount of hot water you have available.

Potential Damage

If not taken care of immediately, damage from frozen pipes can lead to many additional problems that can extend beyond your plumbing. Water damage is one of the most common and expensive forms of damage you can expect. As ice begins to thaw in the pipes, it will leak through the cracks of the plumbing. Over time, this water can damage surrounding structures like drywall, wood, and flooring which will warp and degrade their structural integrity. In places like the kitchen or bathroom, this water can also damage surrounding furniture and personal items you may have lying around.

Fixing The Damage

The best solution to combating winter-related plumbing issues is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Winterizing your pipes from the cold involves insulating or replacing any potentially problematic pipes. This can sometimes be done on your own or through a hired professional. If you do experience any kind of winter damage, the best bet is to call a professional immediately. They will be able to diagnose and fix the issue before it becomes worse. For more details on what kind of services we can offer you to protect your plumbing during the winter, call us to learn more.