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6 common household issues during cold weather and How to Prevent them

As the winter weather sets in, many of us look forward to cozy nights by the fireplace and festive holiday gatherings. However, the colder temperatures can also bring unwelcome surprises in the form of plumbing problems. Some of the most frequent home problems that many of us are likely to encounter during the winter months are frozen pipes, clogged drains and sewer lines, and issues with water heaters.

Here’s a look at six common household issues you might face during cold weather, especially related to plumbing, and how to address them.

1. Frozen Pipes

When temperatures dip below freezing, exposed pipes are at risk of bursting. This can cause major damage to your home or business and lead to costly repairs.

How to Prevent it

  • Insulate exposed pipes: This includes pipes in attics, crawl spaces, basements, and exterior walls. You can use pipe sleeves, foam wrap, or heat tape to keep them warm.
  • Let a trickle of water run: Keeping a slow trickle of water flowing through your pipes can help prevent them from freezing.
  • Seal air leaks: Drafts can contribute to freezing pipes, so be sure to seal any air leaks around windows, doors, and pipes.

2. Water Heater Problems

Your water heater is responsible for providing you with hot water, and it’s especially important during the cold winter months. However, water heaters can malfunction, especially if they haven’t been properly maintained.

How to Prevent it

  • Schedule regular water heater maintenance: This should be done every year by a qualified plumber.
  • Drain the water heater tank annually: This will remove sediment buildup that can reduce efficiency and shorten the lifespan of the heater.
  • Install a water heater blanket: This will help insulate the tank and save energy.

Our experts at Vossler Plumbing Company can safely handle any issues you’re experiencing and offer you the right tankless water heater services for your needs. Contact us at 346-712-0050 if you need any information.

3. Blocked Drains and Sewer Lines

Clogged drains and sewer lines are a common problem during cold weather, as grease and oils tend to solidify in colder temperatures. This can lead to unpleasant odors, backups, and even structural damage.

How to Prevent it

  • Avoid pouring grease and oil down the drain: Let fats cool and solidify, then scrape them into the trash.
  • Use a drain screen: This will catch hair and other debris before it can clog the drain.
  • Pour boiling water down the drain regularly: This can help melt grease and soap scum buildup.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals: Drain cleaners can damage your pipes and make the problem worse.

Learn more about safe drain cleaners you can use to clear your drains at Probiotic Drain Cleaners: The Eco-Friendly Solution to Clogged Drains

4. Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

Heavy snowfall and accumulated leaves can easily clog gutters and downspouts, leading to ice dams, water overflow, and potential foundation damage.

How to Prevent it

  • Regular Gutter Cleaning: Clean gutters and downspouts regularly, especially before and during the winter.
  • Install Gutter Guards: Install gutter guards to prevent leaves and debris from entering the system.
  • Inspect and Repair Gutters: Check for and repair any damaged or sagging gutters.
  • Manage Downspout Drainage: Ensure proper downspout drainage away from the foundation.

5. Leaky Faucets and Toilets:

Leaky faucets and toilets may seem like minor inconveniences, but they can waste a lot of water over time. This can lead to higher water bills and even environmental damage.

How to Prevent it

  • Repair leaky faucets and toilets promptly: Don’t put off fixing a small leak, as it will only get worse over time.
  • Install low-flow fixtures: This will help you save water and money in the long run.
  • Turn off the water supply to outdoor faucets in the fall: This will prevent them from freezing and bursting.

6. Sump Pump Failure

If your home or business has a basement, a sump pump is essential for preventing flooding. However, sump pumps can fail, especially if they are not properly maintained or if they lose power during a winter storm.

How to Prevent it

  • Test your sump pump regularly: Make sure it is working properly and that it is clear of debris.
  • Install a backup battery or generator: This will ensure that your sump pump continues to operate even if the power goes out.
  • Keep the sump pump basin clean and free of debris: This will help prevent the pump from clogging.

Call a Professional Plumber

If you experience any of these plumbing problems during the cold weather, it’s important to call a professional plumber right away. Trying to fix the problem yourself could make it worse. A qualified plumber will be able to diagnose the problem quickly and efficiently and get your plumbing system back up and running in no time. Give Vossler Plumbing Company a call at 346-712-0050 to see how we may be of help.

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