It’s easy to forget about your plumbing system — until you have a plumbing catastrophe. Plumbing malfunctions can cost you thousands of dollars, so you shouldn’t take chances with your plumbing system — particularly when ice and snow are outside. Cold conditions can do a number on your home’s plumbing and intensify existing problems. Read on to learn more about the common cold weather plumbing issues.

Cracked Pipes

When water freezes, it expands. Below-freezing temperatures can make water freeze mid-flow in your plumbing. That puts your pipes in danger of cracking. A cracked pipe can spew water into your home and cause expensive water damage as well as create the perfect breeding ground for mold. All of this adds up to a major cold weather plumbing problem.

A water-filled hose will freeze if you leave it outside in cold weather. If it’s still attached to the faucet, it can cause the pipe inside your home to crack if ice backs up into the pipe. Yet another cold weather plumbing problem.

Clogged Drains

Your drains can collect soap scum, hair, sludgy cooking substances, and other debris over time. Cold weather can cause these items to stiffen and solidify or combine with frozen water, clogging up your drains. Drains on exterior walls can also freeze and leave you with a stopped-up shower or sink.

Water Heater Issues

If you’ve skipped maintenance for some time, the hard Indiana water can cause sediment buildup and rust in your water heater‘s tank. It’s harder to get rid of this rust during the cold-weather months, resulting in — you guessed it — a cold weather plumbing problem. As a result, you’ll be forced to put up with contaminated cooking, bathing, and drinking water for several months.

Avoiding plumbing maintenance early on will allow cold weather to wreak havoc on your pipes and plumbing fixtures. Simple steps such as disconnecting and storing all your garden hoses, insulating pipes in unheated areas, and having your water heater checked early in the cold-weather season will go a long way toward preparing your plumbing system for the winter. For more information on cold weather plumbing problems, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve been serving the plumbing needs of Indianapolis-area homeowners and property managers for more than 50 years.