Winter Plumbing Problems & How to Avoid Them

In January, the average temperature in the Raleigh and Durham area of North Carolina hovers around 50 degrees Fahrenheit at its highest and 27 degrees at its lowest. We typically experience rain and snow, and this can wreak havoc on our homes’ plumbing systems. But what causes winter plumbing problems, and how can we avoid them?

The most common winter plumbing problems are caused by:

Looking for help with any type of winter plumbing issue? Call (919) 626-3626 today to talk to a pro at JD Service Now.

The Importance of Winter Plumbing Maintenance

As plumbers with over 100 years of collective experience, we can’t stress enough the importance of winter plumbing maintenance. You take a few easy steps to avoid serious—and costly—problems caused by:

  • Dirty gutters: Gutters full of leaves and debris can spell disaster when that first winter storm strikes. Snow and ice can build up on top of existing debris, causing water leaks and damage to your plumbing system that require costly repairs. Clean your gutters yourself or have them professionally cleaned to avoid this problem.
  • Unattended hoses and irrigation systems: Freezing temperatures are dangerous for outdoor irrigation systems. If you do not drain your irrigation system and outdoor faucets, the water left inside can freeze, expand, and cause significant damage. Even leaving garden hoses unattended can have serious consequences. Water can build up and freeze around the spigot, cracking or bursting the pipe. What’s more, your insurance company may not cover damage caused by an irrigation system that was not properly drained before the cold weather hit.
  • Snow-covered roofs: It’s your responsibility to ensure that your roof is cleared of snow during the winter months. You can do it yourself with a roof rake or you can hire a professional to do the job for you. Allowing snow build-up can cause leaks or even a roof cave-in.
  • Sump pump failure: Snow and ice melt, and if your water table is higher than the foundation of your home, you may have a sump pump to remove excess water. You need to have your sump pump maintained to make sure it is working properly. Otherwise, you could face leaks, flooding, or cracked pipes.
  • Water heater failure: Your hot water heater probably gets extra use during the winter. For this reason—and to maintain the efficiency of the system in general—you should schedule regular maintenance and keep an eye out for signs that you have a water heater problem.
  • Clogged disposals and drains: You need to be careful about what you put down the disposal, in the toilet, and down the drain. This applies year-round but is especially important in the winter when your plumbing system is under the added stress of dealing with cold weather, snow, and ice. Never pour grease down the drain or disposal. Only flush toilet paper down the toilet—never wipes or other products. If you notice a clogged drain, get it looked at right away.

Check out our blog Is Your Home Winter Ready? for even more info and tips from our Durham plumbing experts.

Talk to Our Durham Plumbers Today!

Routine maintenance is the best way to avoid plumbing problems caused by snow and ice. Instead of dealing with pipe bursts, frozen pipes, leaks, and other serious issues, talk to the professionals at JD Service Now. We serve customers throughout the Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham areas and can help you understand exactly what needs to be done to get your home and its plumbing system through the winter. We also handle all types of heating and air conditioning issues, from emergency repairs to new installations.

Call (919) 626-3626 today or contact us online to schedule an estimate!