While plumbing problems can occur any time of year, winter weather can make them more of an issue. Pipes can freeze, water heaters have to work harder, and the systems in your home just struggle more. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce the problems and make them more manageable. Then, you’ll increase your peace of mind and feel confident in your home’s plumbing system.

Getting your plumbing ready for winter is important, but not every homeowner knows how to do that. Even if you take all the precautions, something could still potentially go wrong, too. Working with a plumber is the best choice when you need to get your home’s plumbing system ready for winter or when you have a problem during the winter months due to the cold weather. Here’s what you need to know.

Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

Understanding how to prevent frozen pipes is a big part of keeping your plumbing system in good shape. There are a few things you can do in order to protect your pipes and reduce any chances that they’ll freeze during a cold snap. First, make sure they’re all insulated and wrapped correctly. It’s not always easy to see where the pipes travel, but if you don’t have good insulation in your home and your pipes are on outside walls, they’re at risk of freezing when it’s cold outside.

If you can’t insulate your home or if you have insulation but it doesn’t seem to be enough, wrapping the pipes themselves can also help. That’s especially true where pipes are exposed in garages and other open areas. These pipes don’t have the protection of more fully insulated pipes, so they’re more likely to freeze when the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for any significant period of time.

In addition to wrapping and insulating pipes, you can also wrap them with heat tape to keep them warmer and leave faucets dripping. Make sure to drip all the faucets that are on the outside walls, on both the hot and the cold sides. That will give you the most protection from frozen pipes, so you don’t have to worry about getting them thawed out or having a pipe burst from the pressure.

Make Sure Drains Are Flowing

Your drains also need to stay open and working during cold weather. Drains are much less likely to freeze because they don’t have standing water in them. However, if there are traps or bends where water may sit, and it gets very cold outside, you could end up with damage to the drain pipes in your house. The main pipe that travels from your home to the sewer or septic tank is also at risk because it’s typically buried in the ground.

Frozen ground can put extra pressure on pipes, and they may crack or break. Then, you’ll have wastewater leaking in your yard, which can create significant problems. It’s not common or necessary to insulate drain pipes in most cases, but you can make sure they’re flowing freely and don’t have clogs. By having your drains treated for any problems before cold weather arrives, you can feel confident that they’ll work the way they should for the long term, even during winter.

Have an Inspection Before Cold Weather Hits

Before cold weather arrives or before a big winter storm, make sure you get your plumbing inspected. That’s especially important if you’re in a new house or you typically experience problems with your plumbing during the winter months. A quality plumber can take a look at the pipes, drains, and fixtures in your home and help you determine whether there are potential issues. Getting those corrected ahead of time is the best way to avoid more serious problems in the future.

You Don’t Have to Tackle Plumbing Problems Alone

It’s not always possible to avoid common plumbing problems, but you can reduce your chances of them by working with a plumber. Not only does that help you catch potential issues when they’re still minor, but you can get good advice and information, as well. By getting professional help and guidance, you can more easily protect and enjoy your home.