Winter leak issues can happen at any time in the cold season. Freezing pipes can cause flooding, leading to water damage and potential mold contamination. Added traffic during the holiday season can also put stress on your pipes. Whether your faucet is leaky, or a pipe appears to be clogged, further damage can occur if the situation isn’t addressed as soon as possible. Repairs can be costly and time-consuming, forcing extra strain upon you during a time that can be stressful enough as it is!
To keep your holiday season flowing smoothly, you should do what you can to help prevent leaks from happening. Accidents can happen spontaneously, but there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of that happening. Here are a few ways to avoid leak issues in your home this winter:
Protect your Pipes
You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting the pipes in your home. When the temperature drops, pipes have the potential to freeze. When this happens, the likelihood of a burst occurring increases drastically. A burst pipe could cause flooding both indoors and out, so protection is important. If your pipes are uninsulated, you can wrap them with foam and duct tape. Learn more about preventing frozen pipes.
Disconnect Outdoor Appliances
Since you aren’t using your hose or sprinkler this winter, disconnect them until spring. Water left inside a pipe from these tools can freeze and expand. Be sure to shut off the valves to these appliances as well.
Fix Noticeable Leaks ASAP
If you have a leaky faucet or you notice and drips or puddles, its best to fix them before they get worse. You want things to be working in top shape for winter.
Drain your Water Heater: Hard water left to sit in a tank can cause buildup and rust. This could lead to a leak or potentially contaminate your water supply.
Check your Sump Pump
Cold weather can freeze your pump. Before winter, you should inspect and clean your pump and its pit.
Know the Signs of Winter Leak Issues
Your home may be giving you warning signals if you have leaks in your drain or sewer system. It’s important that you recognize the signs, and do what you can to fix the situation before it escalates. Here’s a list of things that could signal winter leak issues in your home:
- Spikes in Your Utility Bill
This is typically the first sign of a problem with your plumbing. If there is a leak, it will reflect on your water bill. Unless your home has noticeably using more water, like when you have visitors staying for a while or you are using water for an extensive gardening project, there’s no reason your bill should spike. If your water consumption has remained consistent, the degree of the spike can indicate the severity of the leak.
- Low Water Pressure
If your water pressure has been noticeably lower lately, you may have a leak. If you can’t find another source that could be causing the problem, a professional should assess your pipes.
- Water Damage
Walls, floors, flooding; any sign of water damage is an indication of a leak in your system. Areas that stay moist for an extended amount of time are also at risk for mold or mildew problems. Not only can this damage be expensive to repair, but it could also be a potential health risk. If you see wet material, mold, or smell mildew anywhere in your house, it should be taken care of before it escalates.
- Structural Damage
Water damage, when left untreated, often causes structural damage. Critters and pests are often drawn to water that has accumulated, causing even further damage. Termites tend to nest in these areas and can quickly reproduce. If you see any, you should contact a local professional.
If your pipes are making loud banging or flushing sounds, your pipe may be leaky or even collapsed.
The most obvious sign of a leak is flooding in or around your home. Whether it’s in your basement or in your yard, excess water is a telltale sign of a leak in your pipe.
Now you are familiar with signs of a leak in your home, and how you can work to prevent them from happening.
Call Radiant Plumbing today or fill out our contact form for more information on winter leak issues!