Helpful tips and preparations to alleviate emergencies and protect your home.
When winter storms that are calling for 2 feet of snow and 35 mph winds, do we think about anything other than - how am I going to remove it and what food do I want to eat for the next 72 hours?
Deluxe Plumbing and Heating wants to make sure you are comfortable- and prepared to withstand any storm and that means thinking about the other important tasks to keep in mind before, during and after a winter storm.
At Deluxe Plumbing & Heating, we are not only passionate about our work, but we are passionate about arming our customers with insight to better prepare you home for freezing temperatures and the havoc it can do to your home’s plumbing & appliances.
We feel it is our top priority to send this to you due to local forecast predicting freezing temperatures for 72+ hours. What does this mean for you? This is our greatest window that we see an increase in emergency calls. We never like to see anyone faced with an emergency situation, especially when a large part of the issues we see can be prevented by simple preparations and general awareness.
Be mindful that most of today's high efficiency appliances are vented through the sidewalls of your home. Most vents are approximately 12-18 inches off the ground, so with heavy snowfall these vents will likely become obstructed. By keeping these vents and/or air intakes free of snow accumulation and ice buildup will keep your systems and appliances running optimally by not having to work harder. When the opportunity is safest, take note of these areas and how to keep them free of excessive snow and ice.
We would like to go through a list of common factors that you can easily go through your home and take care of. Please be mindful not every home has the exact items or situations we are going to cover! As always, if you have any feedback for us how we can improve our service to better serve you, please feel free to reach out!
Why Should I be Concerned?
Frozen pipes are not only a temporary nuisance, but can also cause catastrophic damage to your home- often times without you even knowing! The type of piping your home has will better aid us in how to best fix the issue.
Metal pipe: galvanized and/or copper we utilize a machine that connects to your home to thaw the freeze.
Pex pipe: the only way to thaw is with a heat gun or hair dryer. *Be cautions: if you attempt this yourself, you may overheat the pex, causing it to melt or split open.
Did you know hot water lines will freeze quicker?
Or a slight breeze can also create frozen pipes?
Taking the time to block any breeze or draft can make all the difference. Something as simple as silicon can do the trick!
Don’t overlook lines on outside or close to the foundation walls! We have seen a lot of older homes with water lines running up an outside wall. This is a recipe for disaster in cold climates! If you have lived in your home for a while, you will know if this is a reoccurring issue, but if you are new to your home this may be something you’ll want to look at. The lines on an outside wall need to be well insulated and close to the interior wall. They should also be free of drafts hitting the lines directly.
What to Look For:
We cannot cover all areas of concern for cold weather, but a few key places to start are:
Outside faucets: make sure your hose is disconnected. If it is an anti-freeze spigot, you should be fine as long as it was installed with the proper pitch to the outside. If it is a sillcock, there should be a shut off valve inside, but typically most homeowners have an anti freeze model. Please reference the photos below.
If you have a 90+ gas furnace or boiler, there will be a condensate drain. Make sure it does not exit the home through a small hose. This may freeze and completely shut down the entire system. If we installed your system, do not fret, this is not a practice we do.
Risk Note: If vents are blocked or pugged by heavy snow, the appliances won't work and/or Carbon Monoxide may build up inside the home, so be sure that the vents and gas meter are checked and cleared of any snow covering.
Most homes built in the early to mid 1900’s (like most row/twin homes in Allentown, Easton & Bethlehem) have a old coal cellar near the front of your home, typically underneath your front porch. In present times, this may house your water service. Try to keep that room warm and free of draft from windows. If you wrap the pipe in heat tape, double check to make sure the heat tape and outlet are in good working order!
Baseboard Heat & Radiators
If you have a boiler heating system, you want to check a few things. First, you want to make sure the location of your boiler isn’t too cold- even if this is in a room that you typically do not mind if it gets a bit cooler.
If you have a radiator near a window that is cracked open, it has the potential to freeze and crack! Definitely not a sound you want to hear!
You will want to make sure there are no exposed spots around your home where outside air can hit your heat lines directly. Look for cracks or separations in the walls!
General rule: hot lines will ALWAYS freeze first!
If you have a heat pump, make sure you are removing snow from around the system and that the outdoor unit never becomes covered with snow. The less strain on your system, the better!
Deluxe Plumbing and Heating always has true 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency assistance
We are accessible by phone (610) 628-1724 or virtually via our website chat and onsite scheduling options.