The leaves may still be changing, but it’s never too early to start winterizing your home plumbing system. Get ready for cold Chicago weather—no one can predict when the temperature is going to plummet. A good rule of thumb is to have all of your pipes winterized before Halloween.
While there are some things you can check on your own, we recommend having a professional plumber come in to inspect your home. After all, the #1 way to successfully winterize your pipes is to stop any potential issues from causing pipes to freeze or burst. Want an expert Chicago plumber to help you inspect your home and identify pipes susceptible to freezing? Contact Almighty Plumbing!
What happens to my pipes in the winter?
It’s basic chemistry: water expands when it freezes into ice. Ice forms a blockage that puts stress on pipes, no matter what material the pipes are made from. Pressure builds from a blockage of frozen ice in a pipe—and then the pipe can burst. A burst pipe can lead to flooding, extensive water damage, and is an overall headache.
Pipes that are most likely to freeze in the winter are typically pipes that are more exposed to harsh, cold weather. For example, pipes located in less-insulated areas of your home like basements, crawl spaces, attics, and garages are more likely to freeze. Also, any pipe that runs along an exterior wall is more susceptible to freezing.
How can I winterize my home and prevent frozen pipes?
- Insulate all pipes exposed to colder air. You can go to a hardware store or ask your plumber what material you should use and how to properly wrap the pipes.
- Make sure all doors and vents are properly sealed. Are there any broken windows or drafty doors? That’s a surefire way to allow cold air into your home and make your pipes vulnerable to freezing.
- Check that your water meter box has an insulation blanket. The blanket should be on top of the meter and it prevents it from freezing.
- Keep bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open. This helps warm air circulate around the pipes.
- On very cold nights, let faucets drip. If you turn on your faucets ever so slightly to allow a slow, steady drip, this can help reduce pressure buildup in the pipes.
- Going on a vacation? Have fun! But don’t forget to leave the heat on. In general, keep your thermostat set to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, if the temperature drops below freezing, your pipes are more likely to freeze.
- Know where your master water valve shutoff is located. In case a pipe does burst, you can shut off the main water valve and prevent damage from getting worse.
- Once your pipes are frozen, you need to call a plumber. Don’t try to remedy the situation yourself. This may sound absurd, but there are actually people who have tried to melt their frozen pipes with a blow torch. Don’t be that guy! Put the blow torch away and call Almighty.
Interested in an inspection to help winterize your pipes? Call Almighty!
Even if you’re currently preoccupied with creating an incredible Halloween costume, you should also be thinking about winterizing your home plumbing. The best way to prevent expensive, stressful water damage and frozen pipes is by ensuring that your pipes are ready for cold weather. Find out more about Almighty Plumbing’s residential services here and read up on our emergency plumbing services as well.
Call Almighty today at 773-645-1113 (Chicago) or 708-294-3181 (Suburbs).
Don’t forget, Almighty offers:
- 24-hour support
- Emergency plumbers
- Licensed, bonded, and insured personnel
- Affordable drain cleaning services
- No extra weekend charge!