Winter is coming! And if it’s going to be anything like last year, it’s safe to say that things may well get rather cold at home, which can often be troublesome for your pipes. These winter plumbing tips will help you prevent any issues during the chillier time of the year.
When it comes to the many aspects of maintaining your home, plumbing is undoubtedly among the most vital, as it impacts pretty much everything. Plumbing issues such as flooding or a lack of running water is a serious problem at the best of times, but during winter, such issues are substantially worse due to the sudden drop in temperature.
In this post, we take a look at a few simple yet effective winter plumbing tips to make sure you get through the colder months unscathed.
Insulate Your Pipes
When temperatures plummet during winter, it’s not uncommon for pipes to burst due to water freezing inside. If you are unaware of a burst pipe or happen to be out of the house at the time, the fallout of a flood can be catastrophic. Furniture, precious belongings, your carpet and even the structure of your home can be severely damaged, in which case your next phone call — if your phone hasn’t be ruined by water — should definitely be to an emergency plumber!
Wrapping any un-insulated pipes in a tube of foam will help to maintain sufficient warmth and prevent frozen pipes. Foam tubes have a slit on the side so that you can easily wrap them around various sized pipes, and can be purchased at DIY or hardware shops. If the foam tubes don’t have any adhesive, simply use duct tape to ensure that they are secure.
Clogged Drains and Gutters
Clogged drains are an extremely common occurrence in most family homes. Whether it’s due to clumps of long hair down the plug hole or wet wipes being flushed down the toilet, there are plenty of opportunities for blockages inside your home.
When you combine this with leaves that can accumulate in your drains and gutters, you’ll often find yourself in the midst of a constant battle to keep your plumbing clear and clean at all times. If you fail to do so, and debris begins to build up during the winter and the temperature drops, ice may start to form. This can damage or even break your guttering and drains.
When ice forms in your gutters, it can lead to untold damage and even potential breaks to the guttering itself.
The best advice to anyone who has issues with a build-up of leaves and garden debris is to be one step ahead and make sure you clear your guttering before the temperature drops below freezing. Invest in gutter guards to help prevent your drains from getting clogged.
Disconnect Outdoor Hoses
If you use an outdoor hose frequently, it may seem more convenient to leave it outside where you can access it quickly, easily and without going back and forth to the shed, but when the cold weather sets in, it’s crucial to disconnect it and shut off any valves that lead to outdoor taps.
Although they will likely thaw out once the weather improves, it’s always a good idea to drain any water from hose pipes and taps to protect them for when they’re needed most. You can save a lot of hassle by just rolling up your hose and putting it away until winter is over.
Be Careful with Your Christmas Cooking
While it may be common knowledge that it causes problems with your plumbing, everyone is guilty of pouring grease and oil down the kitchen sink from time-to-time. Unfortunately, doing so during winter could cause significant issues, as the cold weather will make it a lot easier for grease and oil to clump together and clog your pipes.
The festive season can prove to be especially troublesome for this particular issue, as you’re not only doing a lot of cooking, but a chaotic kitchen full of dirty dishes can also make it tempting to save time by just pouring any oil and grease down the sink. However, you’re putting yourself at risk of issues and you’ll only save a tiny amount of time — so is it worth it? No, it’s not, especially when there are other ways you can dispose of it.
Have you experienced plumbing issues recently or are you concerned about problems occurring during winter? Homecure Plumbers offers a wide range of plumbing services and our team is also available for emergency plumbing call-outs. Get in touch with a qualified engineer today on 0800 020 9222.