Beware of Plumbing Trouble in the Winter Months
Winter can be a particularly difficult time for the well-being of a house. The structure can be stressed by the freeze-thaw pattern that often goes along with the cold season, and many of the systems in a home are more prone to fail during winter than any other time. Plumbing pipes are high on the list of items that can experience trouble when the temperature falls below freezing. If you have a pipe freeze or burst during the winter months, call in an emergency plumber right away. With quick attention from a qualified professional, the pipe issue can be resolved and the damage kept to a minimum.
So how do you know if you have a frozen pipe? Since most often the pipes that freeze are the ones located either outside or underneath your house, it is not away that easy to notice when one freezes up. The best way to tell is if you start to notice a decrease in pressure or flow from one or more of your faucets. If you turn on the kitchen sink, for example, and don’t get the same amount of water as normal, you may have a partial freeze in one of your pipes. Don’t just assume this will get better – a partial freeze will almost always turn to a total freeze if left unattended.
Of course, if you turn the faucet on in the kitchen and get nothing at all, it’s possible that the entire pipe is frozen. At that point, you will need to call an emergency plumber and have the trouble spot tracked town and address immediately. The pressure that the expanding ice puts on the pipe is easily enough to break the pipe entirely if left to build long enough. The plumber will be able to use their knowledge and experience to track down the frozen spot, and will have the equipment to properly relive the condition. Also, they will be able to recommend how the pipes should be better insulated in order to avoid a refreeze in the future.
As an additional safety step before the plumber arrives, it is a good idea to shut off the water supply to the house. Even though there is no water leaking within the house itself, the water main is still pushing water into the frozen pipe and furthering the pressure build up. By turning off the water main, you might be able to avoid a total pipe burst and save yourself time and a costly repair. This is why it is important to act quickly at the first sign of a frozen pipe – the longer the problem remains, the more likely it is to get much worse.
Hopefully, winter will come and go without your house being any worse for the wear. To that end, you can check on the insulation of your pipes before the cold season and add protection if you find any exposed spots. However, you might be in a situation where it is too late and the pipes are already freezing. In that case, call an emergency plumber as soon as possible to get the problem taken care of. Every minute you wait is a minute closer you get to a major plumbing disaster. Act fast and put your trust in the hands of the professionals – you will be glad you did.