• business frozen pipes

Plumbing Issues That Can Lead to Water Damage In the Winter

One characteristic that the Chicagoland area is known for is severe winter weather. Snow, ice, and freezing temperature can cause many troubles for local property owners. One specific type of winter problem that homes and businesses in the area are vulnerable to are plumbing struggles. 

Plumbing issues often lead to water damage. Water damage can cause major problems, whether it is from a small pinhole leak or a burst pipe that floods your whole home. In this article, we will share details on the winter plumbing issues we see, and what to do if and when they do occur.

Top Winter Plumbing Problems

During the unpredictable northern Illinois winter season, some plumbing system issues tend to occur more frequently. Below is our list of the most common plumbing problems we see in winter, as water damage restoration and emergency plumbing professionals.

Frozen Outdoor Pipes 

The pipes that connect to your outdoor spigots can freeze when they are not properly winterized. They can freeze, burst, and cause major water damage to your home. These issues can get very bad very quickly as they often go unnoticed due to their locations in or even under the main parts of your home. It’s important to disconnect and drain your hoses, turn off the valve on water lines that connect to outdoor spigots, open and drain the hose bib valve, put an insulating cover on it, and leave it open through the winter to alleviate pressure if the pipes do freeze.

Frozen Indoor Pipes

While it’s less common than issues with pipes that connect to the outdoors, your indoor pipes can also freeze during the winter months. Pipes located in areas with less insulation (such as in  exterior walls, garages, and basements) are especially vulnerable. If your heat or power goes out and the temperature drops inside your home, all of your pipes can freeze. A property that is vacant for a long period of time is most at risk. If you will be away for the winter or have a vacant rental property, make sure plans are in place to remotely monitor and physically check on it.

Sump Pump Problems

We may think of sump pumps as being more essential during the wet spring and summer months, but during winter months, sump pumps can work hard keeping melting snow and ice out of your home. If your sump pump stops working due to freezing, clogs, mechanical issues, or a power failure, you can be faced with serious water damage. Remote monitoring, a battery-backup, keeping the area around your sump pump heated, installing a back-up sump pump, and regular cleaning and maintenance are all critical to sump pump success.

Frozen Septic Lines and Tanks

From Evanston to Oak Park, most homes in the Chicago area are connected to sewer systems. However, there are nearby rural, suburban, and vacation lake homes that may have septic systems for waste. Septic lines and tanks that are not well protected can freeze in very cold weather.

When the main line that connects the home to the septic tank freezes, your drainage system can stop working.  Full septic tanks can also freeze and back up the system. Sewage backups are dangerous and require professional help for safe clean-up. If your septic lines or tank freeze, call a  plumber for help right away, and make a plan to deal with the immediate issue, and to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Get Fast, Expert Help With Common Winter Plumbing Problems

Freezing temperature, power outages, and even increased use due to being indoors more – winter can be tough on your plumbing system in many ways. Even with preventative measures, unpredictable problems can occur due to issues outside of your control. One of the most important ways you can be ready for winter plumbing problems is to have an emergency plumbing and water damage restoration contact ready to call.

Water and sewage backup damage only gets worse with time, so don’t wait to take action. If you need professional help with burst pipes or sump pump problems, call McMahon Services for fast, reliable plumbing repairs and water damage restoration.  We are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help you stop the damage and start getting your life back to normal. Contact us today to learn more.