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Pro Tips for Pipes in Winter Time

Illinois is known to have bitterly cold winter weather. Most of the people are used to it if they have lived here for very long. Unfortunately, even if people know how to bundle up in the well below freezing temps, home plumbing cannot anticipate cold weather and bundle up. Water pipes and cold do not mix well. Each homeowner should take responsibility for the safety of the pipes in their home. 

The Dangers of Burst Pipespipe

While the immediate problem with frozen pipes during the winter is a lack of access to water for all or part of the house, that is not the most dangerous problem. The most serious problem is that the freezing water expands while the cole metal contracts, which can cause breaks in the pipes, requiring repiping.

When the water thaws and begins to flow again, it will start flowing in ways the homeowner definitely does not want. Here are some of the harmful effects of an emergency burst pipe:

  • Property damage: A pipe bursting is basically an artificial flood that can do as much damage to a home and its contents as an overflowing river. The heavy water flowing from a burst pipe can damage furniture, electronics, and house structure.
  • Health Concerns: Remember that sewer lines can also freeze and burst. The contents of those pipes can carry all sorts of disease-causing microbes.
  • Microorganisms: Even after the pipe is replaced by an emergency plumber, there can be mold and mildew growth if the damage is not properly dealt with. This can affect both home structure and occupants’ health.

pipes Advantages of Insulating Pipes

Pipe insulation is one of the best forms of winterization.  It is like putting a winter coat on the pipes. It helps prevent freezing and therefore burst pipes. There are even specialized pipe sleeves (think of pool noodles split lengthwise on one side) that can be slipped over the pipes without worrying about disconnecting them. If a homeowner takes the time to cover all accessible pipes, such as those in the attic, basement, or crawlspace, they can eliminate the need for burst pipe repair.

Tips for Preventing Burst Pipes

There are several other steps a homeowner can take to better their chances of preventing a burst pipe. Out of doors, draining any hoses, and covering the hose bibs is a good start. The list for preventative steps indoors is a bit more extensive.

  • Drip, Drip Drip: Let the faucet run at a trickle or drip. Moving water is nearly impossible to freeze.
  • Thermostat: Keep the home temperature above 55 degrees.
  • Circulation: A person can help circulate warm air around the nearby pipes by opening cabinet doors in bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Seal Cracks: If there are any obvious drafts around windows, seal them off with caulk around the edges. This helps keep the warm air in and keeps cold air out.
  • Drain: Consider draining the pipes completely to fully winterize. This can be done with the help of a professional plumber. 

About Jim Wagner Plumbing, Inc. 

Owned by a third-generation plumber and dedicated to quality service and flat-rate pricing, Jim Wagner Plumbing, Inc. gives their customers top work at a reasonable price. Meticulous technicians do quality work in both HVAC and plumbing. Call for plumbing service in the Lombard, IL area.