Wisconsin winters are a sign of the holiday season, but they are also a time for harsh temperatures, frost, and difficult home repairs. The weather of winter can present some challenges for your Milwaukee home’s plumbing system. 

We know that when water freezes, it expands. If the freezing water is in your plumbing lines, it can cause a disaster for your home. Frozen plumbing can crack and leak gallons of water into your home. 

Thankfully, there are many common steps that can be taken to avoid a plumbing catastrophe and put your mind at ease. 

Insulate Pipes

If your home has pipes in an unheated area, like a garage, attic, or crawl space, use a heat cable and insulate it with pipe insulation. It is important to use heat cables with pipe insulation, or the cold air will eventually break through. Using pipe insulation alone can also prevent warm air from reaching the pipes. 

Insulate Garage Doors

If your home has water lines throughout the garage, it can be helpful to insulate the garage door, or the entire garage if possible. You can also use a portable heater in the garage during particularly cold spells. 

Shut Off Water Lines Before Heading on Vacation

If you will be gone for more than a few days, turn off the water at the main shut-off. This way, in the event of any plumbing cracking, there will be much less damage to your home. 

Plunging winter temperatures are out of your control and when you are away from your home, it is best to be safe to avoid any pipe freezing. 

Leave Faucets Running During Cold Spells

A light running faucet can relieve the pressure that builds up if frozen pipes do occur. The pressure relief can stop frozen pipes from cracking or bursting. Thankfully, a slow trickle is all that is needed to assist your pipes. The slight increase on your next water bill will be an easy price compared to major home repairs. 

If the drain is on an exterior wall, do not leave a faucet running. This can cause the drain to freeze and the sink to overflow.

Schedule Your Milwaukee Home’s Plumbing Inspection

Along with following as many tips as possible to prepare your home, scheduling a plumbing inspection is a good way to put your mind at ease. A thorough inspection and timely repairs will leave you with only good memories for this holiday season. 

Having a professional look over your plumbing system can provide many benefits. 

Avoid Pipe Bursts

Even if you take preventive measures, old or poorly insulated pipes can be at a higher risk of cracking, breaking, or bursting during extreme temperatures. Exterior plumbing that lacks proper insulation will likely freeze when the temperature drops and remains that way. 

Calling a professional and having insulation or repairs handled before winter strikes is important, so you don’t end up needing to call an emergency plumber instead. 

Ensure Your Appliances Are Ready For Winter

Having a professional inspect your home can help you make sure any necessary appliance repairs are completed before the harsh winter takes over. A professional plumber can look over your sump pump, water heater, septic tank, and your sink disposal system to make sure everything is running smoothly. 

If any of these appliances are in need of repairs or replacement, their failure can greatly impact your home during winter and can lead to freezing pipes, pipe leaks, water backups, and damage to your home. 

Contact Flow-Rite Plumbing Today

With years of experience, Flow-Rite Plumbing can take care of all of your plumbing needs and help you be sure that your Milwaukee home’s plumbing is ready for winter. If you are in need of a plumbing inspection and are located nearby, Flow-Rite is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your plumbing services.