Let’s face it. Chicago is a beautiful place to live but it has one major drawback we all have to face each and every year – the cold. And when we say cold we’re not talking cold like most of the country experiences. No, we’re talking about polar bear cold and we’re talking about it being that way for a large chunk of the year. So how can you protect your plumbing from all that frigid cold every year and make sure it never gets the better of your home’s plumbing system? It’s not so hard if you follow some pretty straightforward recommendations each year to stay safe.
These tips to protect your home’s plumbing from cold weather come directly from the pros at Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer – the highest rated plumbing professionals in all of Illinois. That’s not hyperbole either as we have more than 500 online reviews and a perfect five-star rating! Get expert recommendations for protecting your home’s plumbing from the cold by calling (773) 633-6139 and service to put anything right that’s gone wrong with your residential plumbing system.
The Pipes Are Your Home’s Biggest Vulnerability To Cold Weather
When you think about your Chicago-area home’s plumbing system the first thing you think about are the fixtures because that’s what you interact with most frequently. What you probably don’t immediately think about are the pipes that make up the heart of your home’s plumbing system. But you should when it gets cold because those pipes are the biggest vulnerability your home’s plumbing system has during the fall and winter months. And there are an awful lot of them in the average home so let’s talk about what you can do to protect them from cold weather.
Most pipe issues and/or problems homeowners face in cold weather are caused by a trio of situations. First, fast drops in temperature that you weren’t expecting. Second, improper insulation of the pipes themselves and lastly setting thermostats to low when away or at home. Luckily, there are things you can do to protect your plumbing pipes in cold weather and most are pretty simple – like the following:
Properly Insulating Pipes: They may not be noticeable because of where they are but you should be 100% sure that all your plumbing pipes are properly insulated against the cold before the weather turns. Pay special attention to crawl spaces and attics!
Use Heat Tape or Cables: If you want to ensure that your exposed pipes are safe from extreme cold weather events, you can go the extra step of using heat tape or heat cables to keep your pipes toasty warm throughout even the worst blizzards and ice storms.
Check For & Seal Leaks: The #1 cause of frozen pipes is leaking cold air from outdoors into the pipes location. Seriously, if the cold air can get directly to your pipes then it’s going to take an inordinate amount of insulation to protect them from the cold. Seal leaks when you find them!
Check Outdoor Plumbing Connections: Remember that there can often be exposed plumbing fixtures on the exterior of the home and they need to be addressed before it gets cold. Disconnect hoses from faucets and shut off the water to the exterior valves and fixtures if possible.
Drip, Drip, Drip Away: You’ve probably heard this one before but if it’s going to be insanely cold then you might want to let your faucets drip throughout the cold snap. Doing so alleviates pressure on your pipes and can ensure no freezing takes place.
Check The Thermostat: Running your home at different temperatures during the day and night while it’s extremely cold can have deleterious effects on your plumbing system. It’s best to leave your thermostat at the same temperature so you avoid risking your pipes and your furnace.
Open Up Pipe Cabinets: When you’re prepping for a serious cold weather event you should open up the cabinets that house your pipes – like those under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. This helps to regulate the temperature in these areas and prevents ice from forming in pipes.
Don’t Leave Home Without Prepping Your Plumbing For Cold Weather!
Are you planning a winter getaway? Maybe for the Holidays? Well, you’re going to want to take some precautions to protect your Chicago-area home from the worst the weather has in store – like blizzards and ice storms. There are a few things you should always do to ensure you don’t come home to a nightmare of broken pipes and flooded floors. Here’s what the team at Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer recommends you do before you leave town this winter:
- Double-Check Thermostats: When you’re gearing up to get away during the cold weather months in Chicago you’ll want to set your thermostat for no lower than 55 degrees to protect your pipes from freezing if the weather gets bad. Make sure the battery in your thermostat is good too!
- Schedule Home Check-Ups: While this may not be possible for every Chicago-area homeowner, our professionals recommend that you schedule checkups of the home while you’re away. Have a friend or neighbor come take a look to ensure all is well with your plumbing system while you’re out of town.
- Turn Water Off Completely: The last step you can take is the most drastic but also the most assured of success – no matter how long you’re away. You can turn off and drain your water system so no water has a chance to freeze in your plumbing system. Remember that a fire sprinkler system relies on this water so if you’re worried about fire skip this step to stay safe.
Best Way To Respond To A Chicagoland Residential Frozen Pipe Disaster
There’s no good way to find out your home’s plumbing system has frozen over or that pipes have burst. But there is a good way to respond to it – calling (773) 633-6139 so the team from vanguard Plumbing & Sewer can schedule the best time to come and help you recover from an already bad situation. No matter what’s taken place or how bad the damage is, our expert plumbing professionals can quickly and efficiently repair or replace whatever is causing the difficulties. And all at a fair price that’s as transparent as the work is exceptional. Make the call today or use our contact form to get started!