North Texas nights can quickly drop below freezing during our winter months. Freezing temperatures can affect water flow, cause pipe cracks and leaks, or outright break pipes, which will require expensive repairs for repiping. Here are some tips on how to protect your pipes during the winter months:
Insulating your pipes to prevent freeze damage will be the best course of action when it comes to protecting your home during the winter months. Insulating pipes, especially outdoor and exposed areas where there is no temperature control, will help prolong the life of your pipes and prevent cold weather damage. Sealing or caulking cracks in your home can keep out cold air and help manage the temperature of rooms surrounding pipes. Other simple freeze prevention tips include disconnecting outdoor water hoses, closing and draining outdoor valves, and allowing small amounts of water to drip from indoor faucets so a constant flow of water circulates through the pipes.
In the event that you have frozen pipes, check your water supply lines and make note of cold spots or line breaks. Plumbing parts that break due to freeze may require extensive and expensive replacement. A licensed DFW plumber can thoroughly investigate your pipes and make sure there aren’t any frozen or broken pipes that may be out of sight.
If you are attempting to thaw frozen pipes, the first step is to open the faucet of the affected pipe and allow flowing water to help melt the ice around the pipe. If the frozen pipe is outdoors or exposed, then try to heat the pipe directly with heated damp towels or heating pads. Space heaters and blow dryers can also be used to help thaw outdoor pipes. If frozen pipes are inside in your home, then turn up the heat in your home and wait to see if that helps.
Protecting your pipes during the winter months every year will add to the longevity of your home plumbing. Cathedral Plumbing experts can provide a thorough inspection of your plumbing and help make sure your pipes are protected.
If you’re “flipping” a house, you’ll want to pay special attention to the preservation and repair needs of the plumbing systems. If plumbing wasn’t taken care of over the years, you may have a lot of problems and unanticipated costs when renovating. Keep an eye out for these top plumbing issues when flipping a home:
Old Pipe Materials
First things first, you’ll want a licensed plumber to inspect your pipes and make sure they aren’t outdated or leaking. If you have an older home that has old lead pipes, a replacement will be necessary. Galvanized and plastic pipes are also likely to have wear-and-tear and possibilities for leaks or breaks. Investing in updated pipe materials will help improve the overall value of your house.
The pipes underneath your house may have shifted from the gradual movement and shifting of the house over time. A pipe belly can happen if the pipes begin to slowly slope downward and create a “belly”. This can affect your flow of water and create a pool below your house from leaks.
Failing Sewer Lines
Sewage leaks and damage may not be found until you smell a foul odor, or notice a leak. Failing sewer lines can be due to tree root damage, pipe failure, or lines shifting. Leak detection by our licensed Dallas Fort Worth plumbers can help discover the source and repair failing sewer lines.
Outdated Fixtures and Connections
Replacing outdated fixtures and inspecting connections assures that your home can flip for a higher value and attract interested buyers. Making sure there’s no restricted water flow, that fixtures are updated and in working order and that the home has been recently inspected, will all be important factors to show possible home buyers.
If you aren’t sure how to fix a plumbing issue, it’s best to call a licensed plumber in Dallas Fort Worth to inspect and repair those problems. For a crucial part of the home that we rely on so heavily, you’ll want a history of good repairs and inspections to flip your home successfully.
Slab leaks and plumbing issues that affect your foundation are never ideal. These leaks can cause major damage to your home, floors, and furniture, and drastically increase your water bill on top of it! Leaks can lead to mold and mildew, which can cause health problems for those living in the house, not to mention the headache of trying to manage it all! Identifying the problem and contacting our experts as quickly as possible will help prevent long-term damage and give you peace of mind. Learning about leak detection and how plumbing issues can cause foundation problems will help you know what to look for and prevent costly damages.
Most plumbing pipes in your home are embedded in your foundation. Your foundation is often a large concrete slab that acts as an intermediary between the ground and your home. Plumbing and sewage systems are often installed first, then the foundation is poured around these systems.
The majority of slab leaks occur in older homes where the pipes have aged and corroded, resulting in small leaks that create big problems. Older home foundations can also shift and settle due to weather. Shrinking or swelling soil around the foundation can cause pipes to bend or break.
Check out our “Silent Signs Your Home May Have Plumbing Issues” advice. You may be able to identify plumbing issues that involve slab leaks. Be on the lookout for: bad odors from the floors and walls, spiking water utility bills, low water pressure, puddles on the floor, hard to find sources of dripping or flowing water, abnormal floor coloring and temperature, and mold or cracks around your foundation.
If you notice these signs, contact us for a professional evaluation and the best course of action for your plumbing repairs.
A drippy faucet or running toilet can be a big indicator that you may have some plumbing issues. But what about the silent signs that aren’t so easily noticed? If overlooked, you could end up with a much bigger problem on your hands. Check out a few of these telling signs that may indicate a need for plumbing repairs:
Spiking water bills – If you haven’t drastically changed your usage but see an increase on your monthly bill, that can be a sign that something is wrong. The most common source of water bill spikes is a running toilet.
A green patch in the yard – Water leaking into the lawn supplies extra moisture to the grass, producing a particularly lush patch. If pipes are worn out or damaged from invasive tree roots, they may need to be trenched for repair.
Discolored pipes – Any type of discoloration, especially around a pipe union, can signify that both moisture and leaks are present. A slow leak can turn into a big mess if not fixed in time!
Changes in water clarity – Water from your faucets should be crystal clear! If you’re seeing cloudy water coming out, that can indicate there’s air in the pipes. Additionally, yellow or brown water could mean rusty pipes, and green discoloration can indicate corrosion in copper pipes.
Sewer odor smell may indicate a drain trap or vent has a problem and sewer gas is entering your house. Sewer odor smell in your house means a trap has dried out or a vent has cracked. It is best to check for additional leaks during repairs.
Weak water flow and/or slow drains – low pressure or slow drains in one area may be a minor issue in that particular spot, but weak water pressure or slow drains throughout the whole house may indicate a more serious issue that requires our expert plumbers to investigate and repair.
No water in winter – frozen pipes can result in low to no water pressure. You’ll want to be sure to insulate and prepare pipes for freezing temperatures to avoid having them bust. Try to maximize heat around areas with plumbing appliances. Make sure ventilated areas are well insulated, keep doors and vents closed, help circulate warm air with fans and space heaters, and keep the heat on in your house during winter. If you are winterizing outdoor pipes, and turning the water main off, then turn on faucets to let them fully drain and release pressure in the pipes.
Visible water damage to your home – Look for bubbles, peeling, or browning on your walls and ceilings. Excessive moisture or roof leaks can cause costly damages. Be sure to act on any physical changes to your house early on.
We recommend staying educated and vigilant. Know what to look for BEFORE the problem becomes serious. Our expert plumbers can assess your situation, and provide guidance and quality repair.
Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners 929 East 41st St Austin, TX 78751 Phone: (512) 936-5200