Protecting Your Plumbing In Winter: What Homeowners Must Consider

Man with toolbelt around hips is holding a wrench. He is standing in front of a bathroom sick with his other hand on the faucet.

As a homeowner, it’s your job to arrange regular maintenance and repairs for your home—from restumping to grout repair, electrical wiring, and everything in between. 

One aspect of your home care that you can’t neglect is your property’s plumbing system. As winter sets in, protecting your plumbing is particularly essential in order to prevent frost build-up or other cold-weather concerns that may result in your pipes cracking or splitting. 

Here are some key methods to help protect your home’s plumbing system all throughout this winter season here in Colac.

Always Engaged A Licenced Plumber

One of the best methods for protecting your home plumbing is to make sure that all repair works will be carried out by a professional. When booking a plumber for repairs or routine maintenance in winter, always engage a licensed plumber. Not all trades that advertise their services are fully licensed, insured and qualified. This is essential to ensure that you receive a quality service, from a professional trade, who will have the relevant skills, qualifications, and local experience to carry out any work that needs doing in the best manner, without making matters worse. You can always ask for proof of licensing when you’re booking the job. It’s also wise to read up on former client testimonials or even Google reviews before you inquire with any plumbers.

Find & Fix Leaks

Leaks can occur all year round, but while you’re booking a plumber this winter, it’s a great time to get them to find and fix all leaking taps with their expert eye. Doing so may actually help you save on your utility bills over the season as leaky pipes can cost you some serious money.  This is because you’re charged based on meter readings, and any leaking taps or faucets will cause your meter to tick over.

If pipes are leaking in the subfloor of your home, it may also lead to widespread property damage, including rotting stumps and floorboards, or even upsetting the stability of your home’s foundation. So simply put, it’s best to find and address any leaks as promptly as possible rather than waiting before the damage becomes even more costly to fix.

Check for Exposed Piping

Frozen pipes are a common occurrence in winter in Australian homes, especially for those living in southern regions or near mountains where the temperature can drop to freezing overnight. Some days in winter, the temperatures drop so low that exposed pipes can’t handle the weather. 

By taking some preventive measures, you will reduce your energy costs and the likelihood of frozen pipes, meaning you can avoid plumbing disasters such as water not flowing or cracked or damaged pipes. Getting a plumber to check for exposed pipes and then having them insulate any of your exposed water pipes in unheated areas means you will avoid frozen pipes. 

If you want to DIY this job, you can cover exposed pipes with insulation, foam sleeves, newspaper, or heat tape to prevent them from freezing. However, engaging a qualified plumber is always the best bet.

Assess Your Home for Cracks

As well as insulating your pipes to prepare your plumbing system for winter, it is also an excellent idea to assess your home for any cracks. Check for cracks around your house on the facade. Cracks can allow for cold air to get to other pipes that may also require insulating. 

Be sure also to check crawl spaces, basements and attics if you have them. This will not only help keep plumbing systems safe from the cold, but also save energy in heating the home by preventing cold air from flowing in. 

Don’t Neglect Your Roof Plumbing

The last thing you want is an unexpected or surprise roof leak during the colder winter months. This can cause damage to your internal roof, wiring, insulation and ceiling plaster. Not to mention that having your roof cave in during a winter storm can bring your home’s interior temperature down to sub-zero if you’re living in regional Victoria. A roof cave-in paired with an emergency power outage caused by moisture exposure and you might as well just be sleeping outside for the night!

Thankfully, this can be easily avoided by working with a roof plumber to conduct a professional roof inspection for your property in the lead-up to the winter months. Roof plumbers will deal with flashing, seals, whirlybirds and other water ingress points on your roof. Even if they don’t find any leaks, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your roof is in good condition and is ready to protect you and your home from the whipping elements this winter season. 

And if your roof plumbers do happen to find signs of damage, then they’ll be able to address these for you, sealing all potential leak points before the winter storms begin. This may cost a bit of money, but it’s better than dealing with an annoying and dangerous roof leak when the heavy winter rains eventually hit.

Get Your Hot Water System Serviced & Checked

Finally, the last thing to do to protect your plumbing in winter is to arrange for a gas plumber to check your gas hot water system, as the last thing you want during the cold days and nights is to be without hot water. 

A qualified gas plumber can check to see if your hot water system is working properly, service it, and test it for faults. Not only will this help ensure that your home’s hot water supply stays sufficient all throughout the winter, but it can also help reduce the risks of your system malfunctioning and potentially even leaving you without any hot water – the last thing anybody wants on a chilly winter morning while getting ready for work! So be sure to arrange a hot water system servicing as part of your yearly plumbing routine maintenance schedule.

Keeping Your Colac Property Cosy This Winter

From insulating your pipes to fixing leaks and arranging a roof inspection to having your hot water system serviced, it’s clear to see that there’s plenty to consider when looking to safeguard your property’s plumbing system during the colder winter months. But with a little seasonal pre-planning and some expert assistance, you should be able to make quick work of all these plumbing maintenance tasks, ensuring that your home is ready for all the moisture, wind, frost, and debris that this chilly season is inevitably always accompanied by. 

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