5 min read

Frozen Pipes


Winters in Detroit are freezing, snowy, and windy. These conditions can potentially produce hazardous conditions like heavy snow and ice storms. Unfortunately, these can make your home vulnerable to plumbing issues like frozen pipes. In the worst circumstances, you may even find yourself dealing with water inside your house, putting you in a position of requiring swift water damage restoration in Detroit.   


The good news is that most of these problems are avoidable. To help you stay warm and dry in the following months, here are some common wintertime plumbing issues, plus practical tips to prevent them.


Frozen Pipes


Your outdoor water lines are especially helpful in washing your car, cleaning your driveway, or watering your plants during spring and summer. However, when winter comes, they are often left unused and exposed to cold temperatures for a long time, making them vulnerable to freezing and bursting. 


Interior pipes and water lines can also freeze, especially if they’re located within walls that have not been insulated properly. What’s worse is that when they freeze and burst, water can flood your home within seconds and create a mess.


How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

  • To help prevent frozen and burst pipes, insulate exposed pipes using foam, rubber, or fiberglass tubes. 
  • If you won’t be using your outdoor faucets, close the shutoff valves leading to them and disconnect and store away any outdoor hose.
  • Open cabinet doors under your sinks on days with colder temperatures to let the heat from your home circulate in the area and keep your indoor pipes from freezing.


Interior Flooding from Snow Melt


Melting snow can oversaturate the ground quickly and overwhelm your sump pump – the mechanism that evacuates water from your basement and other low-lying areas. Couple this with foundation cracks and poor drainage, and it’s likely that basement flooding will happen.


How to Prevent Interior Flooding from Snow Melt

  • Remove debris buildup from gutters, downspouts, and outdoor floor drains to ensure water flows away from your home’s foundation. 
  • Shovel snow within five feet of your home to keep snowmelt from potentially affecting your foundation. 
  • Keep your roof clear of snow buildups to avoid straining it with the extra weight and possible ice dams.  
  • Remove any dirt, grime, or foreign objects that may have fallen into your sump pit. 
  • Keep the heat on in your basement to prevent the pit and the pipes from freezing.


Clogged Drains


With the winter months filled with holiday cooking and family gatherings, your kitchen is bound to get a workout. As a result of more food waste than usual going down the garbage disposal, your drains will likely get clogged if you don’t take the necessary precautions.


How to Prevent Clogged Drains:


  • Be diligent about keeping fat, grease, cooking oil, and bones out of your garbage disposal. 
  • Let cold water run while the garbage disposal is on and up to around 30 seconds after turning it off. Doing so helps move the food waste through the drain more easily.


Water Heater Problems


Hot showers and baths or enjoying warm home-cooked meals are among the best winter pleasures, especially during colder days. As your water heater works double time to keep your home supplied with hot water, it pays to remember that this increase in demand can also make your heating equipment vulnerable to issues. Taking the necessary preventive measures can help you make it through the winter comfortably warm – and free from frustrating and potentially dangerous breakdowns. 


How to Prevent Water Heater Problems


  • Enlist water heater repair and maintenance before the colder months. 
  • Have a plumber check and test your water heater’s pressure relief valve. 
  • If you have a tank water heater, it’s a good practice to drain it every year to remove any sediment or scale buildup.


The Next Steps To Take After a Winter Plumbing Issue


The extreme temperatures, harsh weather conditions, and family gatherings can do a number on your home’s plumbing system and eventually cause it to fail. However, awareness of the common problems and their preventative measures can help you make it through the season free from the mess and stress of water damage. 


If a burst pipe, ceiling leak, or sump pump failure has already occurred, the next step is to call a professional restoration company as soon as possible. Swift water extraction and drying are crucial in not only cleaning up the mess but also protecting your home and its contents from further damage. 

Restoration 1 is an IICRC-certified restoration company offering water damage restoration in Detroit. We are available 24/7 to prevent or repair any water damage and get your property back to normal. Give us a call today, and our experts will come to you within an hour for an honest and transparent assessment.