The holidays are gone for this year, which means we are headed into the hard part of living in Chicagoland – the cold winter. Without twinkling lights and cozy parties, the snow and stark temperatures can make for chapped lips and cold noses. But these Chicago winters do damage to more than just our bodies; our homes take a beating during these chilly months.
If you have ever had the misfortune of experiencing frozen pipes, you already know the hassle and crisis conditions it can cause. This winter, make a commitment to knowing more about how to prevent and treat frozen pipes, keeping your home safe from the damage.
Water that drips through uninsulated, or poorly insulated, piping is subject to freezing in Chicago winter temperatures. When water freezes, it also expands, causing stress to the pipe over time. In extreme cases, frozen pipes can lead to cracked piping and subsequent flooding or major plumbing problems. Here’s what you need to know to prevent this situation and what to do if it happens to you.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Know which pipes in your home or on your property are more likely to experience freezing. This can include your outdoor sprinkler lines or pipes that are in unheated areas of the home, such as crawlspaces, attics, or even under cabinets.
If possible, disconnect the water flow to these specific areas. For your outdoor pipes, this shouldn’t be a problem, However, if you aren’t sure how to do that, give our experts a call; we’d love to reduce the chances of your pipes becoming frozen in the first place. We can give you advice on how to keep your pipes warm, as well as give you any maintenance needed to keep your pipes in their best condition.
During our brutal cold snaps, keep your garage doors closed as much as possible to keep pipes that run through the garage as warm as possible. Open up cabinets indoors with exposed pipes underneath, if possible, and allow a small drip of water to continuously flow through faucets. Finally, keep your heat on indoors to no less than 60 degrees, even if you are gone.
Treating Frozen Pipes
Even with preventative measures, pipes sometimes freeze. If you notice that you are having issues with frozen pipes, call our experts. We can examine your problem and assist with thawing your pipes to prevent bursting or flooding. It is best to call us right away; our emergency team can get to you soon and start the process of fixing your situation. Don’t try to thaw your pipes on your own, as this can cause bursting or flooding and a whole set of new problems for your home.
Pay close attention to your home this winter; we are certainly still in for a cold season here in the suburbs. If you have any questions or are worried about your plumbing, we would love to ease your mind and give you steps to keep your home safe this winter.