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Common ways the winter can negatively affect your homes plumbing

With light snowfall and gray skies, winter has returned, and with it come unique cold-weather plumbing issues. While some of these home plumbing issues may occur during any season, issues during winter are particularly bothersome for homeowners, as colder temps not only make home fixtures more susceptible, but the plumbing issues that occur can be more uncomfortable and under tighter timelines for repair. But by staying proactive and having a professional on hand to call should any signs of the following common home plumbing issues present themselves, homeowners will be ready for the worst plumbing problems winter can create.

Frozen and Burst Pipes

More common with outdoor pipes versus indoor pipes, freezing water within either set of pipes can be troublesome. As water freezes, it can create blockages, preventing water from flowing freely. This in and of itself is an issue, as it can stop water from reaching the appliances and faucets where it’s needed most. However, if there is already a hairline crack in the pipe, or if the pressure becomes too great between the blockage and the faucet, the pipe itself can burst, causing a cascade of water and property damage.

The easiest way to avoid frozen and burst pipes is to ensure that the pipes are in well-heated areas. Additionally, applying extra layers of insulation will help protect a home’s pipes from the colder elements. If homeowners suspect a frozen pipe or a pipe blockage, turn off the water at the main immediately, and contact a plumber for assistance. 

Clogged Drains

Winter ushers in a number of holidays and holidays are accompanied by a surge in food. Many homeowners assume that almost anything that can fit into a drain — and some things that can’t — will be cleared through the sink, or toilet, or outdoor drain with ease. However, this is usually false and leads to major clogs and blockages that cease water flow. 

Even pipes that are properly maintained see increased usage during this time of the year, so it’s still a good idea no matter what to have a professional perform routine maintenance to make sure any potential clogs are washed out before they become an issue. 

Water Heater Issues

Speaking of home fixtures that pull overtime during the winter months, a home’s water heater sees its heaviest usage during the cold days. This is not only because homeowners use more warm water, but because the water the heater is using starts at a colder temperature. Add on to these issues from skipping routine maintenance, like build-up at the bottom of the tank, and it’s only a short step away from a water heater failure. 

Ensuring water heaters receive annual preventative maintenance before the winter season is best, but it never hurts to schedule during the season as well. And if the water heater is making odd noises, or smells like burning or rotten eggs, turn it off immediately and contact a professional.

Sump Pump Problems

While the snow makes a wonderland outside, the eventual melting precipitation can create problems for homeowners. On days where the ground is still frozen, but the sun is warm enough to melt the snow above, the resulting run-off is unable to be absorbed, and must be offset by a home’s sump pump. 

During warmer times, it’s possible to redirect gutters and outdoor drainage to more efficiently direct snow melt during the cold months, but it’s also important to keep the sump pump maintained and free from debris and blockages. 

Winter is a season about being proactive. It’s a time of year that can be difficult to predict, but scheduling routine maintenance before the season comes to pass helps better prepare homes for what could happen. If homeowners have not yet scheduled maintenance, or are seeing issues arise in plumbing fixtures around the house, it’s not too late to call in a professional, like the ones at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. With over 30 years of knowledge and experience, the experts at Duane Blanton are able to work through winter plumbing issues before they balloon into major problems. Reach out to the professionals at Duane Blanton today, at (815) 781-2567, or schedule online using their online scheduling portal


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