5 Tips to Avoid Common Plumbing Emergencies This Winter


Depending on where you are in the world, winter might be already settled down in your area, or it might be around the corner. Whatever it is, winter is never far, especially with the way time flies lately. And don’t let the chilly air surprise you, but prepare your home’s plumbing for the cold in time. 

Why? Well, the cold season brings unique plumbing issues, mostly concerning water freezing and heating. If you want to avoid issues with both, here’s how to prepare for winter and avoid some common plumbing emergencies. 

Insulate pipes to prevent freezing

A worker is repairing a water heater

The expansion of frozen water within pipes can lead to pipe bursts, which can result in substantial water damage and expensive repairs. All exposed pipes must be insulated in order to prevent this, especially those found in cooler locations like garages, attics, and basements. 

Foam pipe covers are an easy and affordable way to insulate pipes. To lock the foam tubing in place, simply cut it to the length of your pipes. Use thermostatically controlled heat wires or heating tape for further safety; these devices activate when the temperature lowers. It’s important to keep in mind that pipes outside walls or inside cabinets could freeze as well.

Service your water heater

We all love a hot shower in winter, and we often stay there longer than usual, so we need to have the water heater serviced to make sure it can manage the additional demand. A qualified plumbing professional may do routine maintenance like flushing the tank to get rid of sediment buildup and look for any indications of wear and tear. 

Over time, sediment can damage your heater and lower its effectiveness. The anode rod, which aids in preventing corrosion inside the tank, and the pressure release valve, which is crucial for safety, can also be examined by the plumber and maybe even replaced. 

Think about switching to a more energy-efficient water heater if your current one is aging or exhibiting symptoms of wear and tear. A well-kept water heater guarantees a consistent flow of hot water and also assists in keeping your energy bills at least reasonable. 

Fix blocked drains before they worsen

A new modern faucet of steel is paired with a ceramic sink in the bathroom

In general, the key to avoiding annoying drain blocks is regular maintenance and immediate action at the first sign of slow drainage. In dry regions like Brisbane, common causes of blocked drains include the accumulation of dirt, growth of roots, and lodged foreign objects. 

To fix easy blockages, one effective method is to use a plunger, and for more stubborn clogs, a plumber’s snake or drain auger. If you see that the issue is more serious, call pros to quickly fix blocked drains in Brisbane. Their tools can reach deep into the pipe and dislodge blockages that are beyond the reach of plungers.

Check for leaks and drips

Although leaks and drips are frequently ignored, they can lead to serious problems, particularly in the winter when water is more likely to freeze and expand. Examine all of your home’s exposed pipes, faucets, and valves first. 

Seek indications of leakage, rust, or dampness. If a little leak is ignored, it can cause more major issues like fungus growth and structural damage, which can significantly raise your water cost. As previously stated, outside faucets need to be inspected and closed appropriately throughout the winter. 

Unplugging hoses will prevent water from freezing in pipes and bursting them. No matter how tiny, any leaks you uncover need to be fixed immediately.

Clear your gutters and drains

Keeping your home safe and sound from the whims of winter and the surprises of the rainy season means paying special attention to your gutters and drains – they’re like the unsung heroes of your home’s defense system against water! Imagine them as tiny warriors, fighting off an onslaught of leaves, twigs, and other sneaky debris. 

If they get overwhelmed, water might start throwing a party where it’s not invited – like against your foundation, siding, or roof, causing a whole bunch of unwelcome damage. So, here’s a pro tip: before winter wraps your home in its chilly embrace, do a thorough check of all your gutters and downspouts. Make sure they’re not hosting any blockage parties. 

This is super important because it helps prevent those notorious ice dams from forming on your roof. Trust me, ice dams are like those uninvited guests who can really wreck the place – in this case, your roof.

If you usually beat yourself over missing some crucial maintenance before winter, this year will be different. Do all of these tips above, and your pipes, heaters and all other plumbing elements will be safe and protected. You’ll meet (and say goodbye to) winter unscathed. 

By Lucas Bergman

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