How To Prevent Frozen Plumbing Pipes in Big Bear
Whether you live in Big Bear full-time or use it as an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, your home or seasonal cabin will need special care during the winter months. The winters of Big Bear are significantly different from the weather we typically expect in SoCal.
In Big Bear, temperatures drop significantly over the winter months, providing a fully snowy and freezing winter. These freezing temperatures can significantly affect the home, which is why each resident must take specific steps to prevent events like frozen plumbing systems.
This article will discuss the importance of preparing your home’s plumbing system for the winter months. Read on to learn why pipes freeze, what happens when they do, and how you and prevent this from happening.
What Causes Frozen Pipes in Big Bear
If you’re used to living in a warm climate all year round, the idea of frozen pipes may be entirely different to you. However, it is a genuine concern for those living in the cooler mountain regions. Let’s explore together how frozen pipes occur in the home.
Quick Drops in Temperature
Big Bear plumbing systems can be very vulnerable to quick drops in temperatures. In fact, the weather in Big Bear can change in hours, dropping to a low Fahrenheit that can freeze the roads, plants, and plumbing. If your home isn’t prepared for the sudden cold, your plumbing will suffer significantly during winter.
Poor insulation will also play a significant role in Big Bear’s plumbing pipes. They allow the pipes to Retain warmer temperatures, thus protecting them from freezing. Though pipe insulation alone won’t be enough to fight off the effects of Big Bear’s freezing winter weather, it will be highly effective when combined with some other steps we will discuss later in this article.
Many plumbing professionals agree with the findings of Nvent, which state that pipe insulation provides effective benefits in condensation control, energy savings, control of plumbing noise, and, most importantly, pipe freeze protection.
Low Thermostat Settings
Thermostat settings must be carefully considered, especially if you’re going to be away from your home for a time. If the thermostat settings are too low, the pipes and any remaining water in them will freeze.
Why Should I Avoid Frozen Plumbing in Big Bear?
So why is it so important to avoid frozen pipes in Big Bear? Is it even worth worrying about? Frozen pipes cause significant stress and structural damage, and they will soak up all your extra funds for repairs. Below is a quick breakdown of why you should take extra care to avoid frozen plumbing pipes in Big Bear.
Prevent Pipes from Bursting
Frozen pipes will eventually burst. This burst can happen before or after water is turned on and sent through the pipes. Burst pipes are a homeowner’s nightmare because this problem is often discovered after the damage has already been done. Unless the burst pipe is visible to you, you won’t know about it until there is a leak.
If your pipes have burst, you will have an emergency plumbing situation on hand that only the pros can fix. Check out our list of services to learn how we can help you in a time of desperation.
Prevent Water Damage
Burst pipes lead to quite a disaster when it comes to water damage. Depending on the size of the leak created by burst pipes, you may end up with water everywhere. It can flood the floors and damage everything in sight: carpet, electricity, wall structures, floors, and furniture.
Many Big Bear plumbing technicians worry about mold developing as a result of water leaks. Mold creates many problems on its own as it causes all the structures it infests to deteriorate. It also leads to significant health hazards, and you or your loved ones may develop severe headaches, nausea, allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues.
Prevent Expensive Repairs
On top of all the problems caused by frozen plumbing pipes in Big Bear is the excessive expenses that you will have to take on to repair the damage. The repairs will cost in accordance with the level of damage sustained by the burst pipes.
Most of the time, the pipes will require replacement. Any damaged walls or flooring will need to be replaced, and mold will need to be removed. These repairs will all need to be performed by professional plumbing technicians in Big Bear, which will require a bit of money.
Are you wondering about what other types of plumbing problems to avoid? Check out the blog to learn about some other plumbing issues that are sure to cause chaos in your home.
What Does it Mean to Winterize Plumbing?
So now that we know what causes frozen plumbing pipes and how damaging they can be in Big Bear, we will discuss how we can avoid it altogether. Who needs frozen pipes anyways? It is safe to say that most people will pass on this headache.
As we prepare for the cold, blustery winter season in Big Bear, we must take some steps to “winterize” the plumbing in our homes. Winterizing means protecting your plumbing from the sudden decreases in temperatures that Big Bear experiences during the December and January months. If you’re looking for tips on how to protect your plumbing today, read on and use the following tips. Please note that these tips are essential to follow for those who plan to leave their house entirely for the winter.
1. Insulate Pipes
One of the first things you should do to prepare the plumbing in your Big Bear home is to insulate them. Many hardware stores sell foam insulation sleeves that you can use around your pipes. As you do this, make sure to cover every inch of every pipe to prevent the cold air from seeping through. Also, inspecting your entire insulation in the crawl spaces may be a good idea to ensure that it will protect your home and plumbing from bitter temperatures.
2. Seal Air Leaks
Go throughout your home and check for any cracks in the doors, windows, walls, or ceilings. Also, check sockets, switches, and plumbing structures to ensure that no extra air is coming through. If it does, it can potentially freeze the pipes and lead to the disastrous results we discussed earlier.
3. Drain Pipes
Make sure to drain your pipes as best as possible to prevent the water from getting stuck and causing the pipes to expand. Doing this step is especially important if you plan to spend your winter in a different location.
To drain your pipes, begin by turning off the main water supply to the house. Then, let the water out of the faucets of all sinks, showers, and bathtubs. This will drain out any remaining water in the pipes. Flush your toilets until the water is gone as well.
4. Clean Gutters and Drain Pipes
During the cold winter months in Big Bear, plumbing pipes like gutters and drains must also be in the cleanest condition. As you prepare your property for the winter, take the time to clean out the gutters and drains. There are several benefits of doing this cleaning process.
First, when it rains, your gutters will not create any spills resulting from clogged gutters and pipes. You will be spared the nuisance of dealing with the constant dripping noise from overflowing gutters.
Clogged gutters and drains will lead to an eventual burst or water leak on their own. But when coupled with ice, the damage can be even more severe than usual. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with cleaning your gutters and pipes, you may want to consider contacting a Big Bear plumbing expert to help you out.
5. Keep the Thermostat On
Winters in Big Bear can be fairly harsh, with temperatures dropping down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. The only way to combat the harsh effects of these temperatures, keep the thermostat on at 50-55 degrees in your home at a temperature that will keep the pipes warm enough from freezing. This is especially important if you’re leaving home for the winter.
Now, we know that you may be concerned about having to pay for extra energy costs to keep the heat on, but those costs will be a fraction of what you’d pay to repair the damage from a frozen, burst pipe.
6. Schedule a Plumbing Maintenance Inspection
As you prepare your home for the winter, requesting a Big Bear plumbing contractor may be a great idea to inspect your home’s plumbing system. This inspection will determine whether your plumbing is adequate for the winter season and if you need to take any additional steps to prevent frozen plumbing pipes.
A maintenance inspection will also determine whether your pipes need repairs that can prevent future problems. Prevention of major problems like frozen pipes will always start with strong maintenance practices that take care of the entire house as a whole.
Clearly, plumbing is essential in Big Bear. For this reason, we wrote an article on what to expect from your Big Bear plumber. Learn how to hire the best plumber for your maintenance needs.
Plumbing Winterization in Big Bear, CA
Is your home ready for the winter season? With the help of Big Bear’s plumbing experts from Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating, you will set yourself up for a warm, cozy, and safe winter. We have been serving Big Bear and its residents for decades and are just one phone call away. Contact us today for service or to receive an estimate by calling (909) 328-6295.
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