The temperatures in Pittsburgh have already reached freezing which means colder weather is on its way. With winter weather you can expect not only freezing temperatures, but ice, and snow. What you don’t expect with cold weather are issues with your home. When it gets cold out temperatures can cause unexpected and potentially costly damages. It is important to know what to look out for and how to handle incidents if they do come up this winter.
Frozen pipes are surprisingly common during the winter months and can cause more trouble than just a minor inconvenience of no water flowing or low water pressure. Pipes can burst, which not only have to be replaced, but can cause leaks and floods in your home. Pipes oftentimes are not visible and can burst inside the walls of your home and you may not be able to detect it. Once the frozen water was thawed it will have the ability to flow freely inside of your walls.
Telltale signs of frozen pipes include:
- No water coming out of the faucet
- Low water pressure
There are tricks to keep your pipes from bursting this winter.
- Keep your hot water heater at a temperature of 120⁰ F to 125⁰ F
- Leave a slight drip going in your faucets when exceptional cold temperatures are predicted
- Keep cabinets under the sink open
- Insulate pipes
- Use a space heater pointed at wall where pipes are internally
If a pipe does become frozen, contact a plumber immediately. In most cases, once a pipe has frozen a crack or burst is bound to happen. Typically copper pipes are most susceptible to freezing, so take extra care if you have copper piping. If a pipe does burst it is also important to know how to turn off your main water intake valve. This is usually located near your furnace.
Fallen Tree Limbs
Fallen tree limbs and even fallen trees can happen any time of year, but during the harsh weather of winter fallen limbs are common. High winds can cause tree limbs to fall, as well as a buildup of ice on a limb that weighs it down. If this happens it can be a pain to clean up in your yard, but an even bigger mess to clean up if a tree or even a branch falls onto your home.
Prevent fallen trees and/or fallen limbs but removing dead trees from your yard and trimming limbs during the warmer months.
Roof Ice Dams
Roof ice dams occur when the water from melted ice or accumulated snow on the top of a roof runs down to the edge of the roof and refreezes. The weight of the ice dam can cause damage to a roof and/or gutters. The weight can bring gutters down or remove shingles. The melted ice at the edge of the roof can also drip into your attic, walls or insulation.
Whether it is frozen pipes, fallen tree limbs, or roof ice dams, keeping your home prepared is the best way to ward off damage.
If you home has been damaged by any of these elements, contact Service Master’s restoration contractors today.