Winter brings cold temperatures, and while you may already be aware of some of the ways it can be harmful to your home’s exterior, there are also some risks to your home interior when temps dip to below freezing, especially for your plumbing. Failing to understand and address these risks can lead to serious consequences for your home and your pipes.
The most common problem that homeowners encounter for their Utah plumbing is frozen pipes. As temperatures drop, pipes exposed to the cold could have water freeze inside. This is a very dangerous condition for your home because frozen water expands, which means it will put a lot of pressure on the metal pipes. With too much pressure, you could have the pipes burst, leading to serious flooding and extensive damage in your home.
To prevent frozen pipes, check to make sure your walls have proper insulation, especially exterior walls where pipes run. If your pipes are in an unfinished and unheated basement, consider covering them with insulation to protect from cold weather. If you know there is a significant risk, leave the water running just a trickle at all times to keep water moving—it might seem like a waste of water, but it’s much better than the consequences of a burst pipe. You may also want to call a plumber to help address the problem and prevent it in the future.
Trees that want to survive have to seek out water sources, and as the weather gets colder they often send roots deeper into the ground to find water. That might lead to tree roots that intersect with pipes, or even get inside pipes to try and find a water source. Since you won’t see it in your yard during the winter months, the most likely way to spot this problem is by keeping track of water usage. If you see a significant spike and cannot find any other source of a leak, that could be the issue.
Cracking and Popping Sounds in the Water Heater
This is not necessarily a problem, but it might seem like an issue when you hear your water heater cracking and popping in winter. These sounds are often just the natural result of very cold water entering the water heater and hitting the metal on the sides of the appliance as it starts to heat the water up. If you notice any other signs of a potential problem with your water heater, such as rust-colored water coming out or banging noises that never stop, consider calling plumbing contractors to examine it and ensure it’s not damaged.
A plumber in Utah can help you identify potential issues with your home’s plumbing and prevent some of the biggest water disasters that might occur in cold weather.