Being a homeowner can feel a lot like running a marathon. Just as you master one season, like getting into the routine of mowing your lawn each week, cutting it to the perfect length in just one hour… the cold weather comes and it’s time to shovel instead!

Before you know it, you’ll be pulling that lawn mower out of the shed once again. Before that happens, you have to prepare your home for a long winter. We want to make your marathon a little easier by offering a quick guide to common fall and winter plumbing problems. Consider this your homeowner cheat-sheet to winter!

Clean Your Gutters

As the leaves turn and fall, they can become a nuisance to rake up and clear from your yard, but don’t forget about the gutters. Water has nowhere to go but to drip down into your foundation when leaves clog your gutters. (Chains and downspouts are designed to keep water away from your foundation.) This excess moisture could be costly to your plumbing. Instead, keep your yard and your gutters clean to avoid potential disasters.

Unwanted Pests

A drop in temperature means you’re reaching for a sweater, but it also means mice, rats, opossums, and other pests are searching for shelter. They just might find it in the pipes of your plumbing! Keep your home pest free this fall and winter for checking access points around your home, including doors, windows, holes, the dryer vent, and the crawl space. Professional plumbers can help you assess your home’s risk level. 

Frozen Pipes

Perhaps the most well-known cold weather plumbing issue is frozen pipes. As the name suggests, the issue with this common problem comes when the water flowing through your home’s pipes freezes as the temperature drops. This can be dangerous and costly. If a pipe were to burst – water expands when frozen – you could be footing a very expensive plumbing and repair bill. Your pipes could also sustain damage without bursting.

The simplest way to prevent frozen pipes is to keep your home properly heated throughout the winter and to crack open cabinet doors that cover pipes to allow proper heat flow. Pipes that are in dangerous zones for freezing can be serviced by a professional for more permanent solutions. If you smell a foul odor or notice a decrease in water distribution, call a plumbing professional immediately. This could be a sign that your pipes are freezing over.

Water Heater Concerns

Your water heater has to work hard in the winter, as temperatures drop and the ground freezes. This extra effort can cause strain or sediment build-up on your machine. Monitor your water heater throughout the winter for signs of damage.

And speaking of pipes – be sure your water heater’s pipes are properly insulated to prevent freezing.

Your Idaho Plumbing Company

You’ve trusted Master Plumbing to see you through three generations of fall and winter in Idaho. We’re proud to serve our community and help mitigate even the worst plumbing disasters. For help preparing your home’s plumbing for another fall and winter, contact us today!

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