Prevent Winter Plumbing Disasters

You can hope that the only water that tracks into your house this winter is from the snow melting off your boots. That is the best-case scenario, but for that to happen, you need to be aware of the other, more severe ways that water can sneak into your house. Once you know the main threats, you can prevent winter plumbing problems.

The Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness estimates that nearly a quarter-million homes are damaged by frozen pipes each year. A crack just one-eighth of an inch can leak up to 250 gallons of water in one day. To stop this disaster from happening, insulate your pipes in vulnerable areas, such as in a crawl space, attic, or basement. Allow warm air to circulate your plumbing. Even running water from your faucet for just a little bit can help prevent pipes from freezing.

If you plan on being away from your home for an extended period, set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off your water supply and all appliances that use water, and have either a neighbor or friend check in on your house.

Heavy snow can also be a danger to your home, especially if it piles up on the roof of your house. That added weight could lead to ice dams forming or even cause a cave-in. When snow is at least 6 inches deep, use a roof rake to clear away the snow safely. Also be sure that your downspouts are clear, so that melting snow can adequately drain.

Prevent ice dams by having the right insulation in your attic, and that your attic is also adequately ventilated. When warm air rises in your house, it can reach the attic and melt the snow, which could then refreeze as ice. Placing screens over your gutters will also stop debris from building up.

Clearing away snow from your home’s foundation will also prevent water from creeping into your house. Melting snow and ice can find the smallest, unseen openings, and can damage the foundation. Be sure to disconnect all outdoor hoses and check all of your water supply lines for leaks.

There will be no reason to panic when the major snow storms roll in once you follow the proper steps to prevent winter plumbing disasters. If that worst-case scenario catches you off guard, do not hesitate to call a professional at Sunrise Heating and Plumbing at (616) 293-9326. By providing exceptional customer service, and our highly-trained and experienced staff can handle any problem.