The weather’s beginning to cool. For a few months, this means cozy sweaters, warm cider, and crisp mornings. Then, winter’s here. Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or zero Celsius. Michigan winter days can be above freezing or plummeting to sub-zero, arctic temperatures on a dime. That means if you have a leak, it can freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw and become worse before spring.
That’s why we recommend that you check your pipes in September for leaks while the weather’s still warm. Getting ahead of the problem will allow you plenty of time to fix any leaks you find, and prevent them from getting worse due to fluctuating temperatures in the winter.
Winters Home Services, a Massachusetts-based plumber, spells out how you can spot a leak no matter what time of year. If you see water spots in your ceiling or walls, if your faucets aren’t pressured, and if you water bill is going up (and you’re not using more water), a leaky faucet can be the culprit. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s time to find the leak. Here are the causes of leaky faucets, pipes, and other water leaks, and what you should do about them.
1. Loose plumbing
A loose washer can be the easiest leak to fix. All you need is a wrench and bam! Tighten the leak. If you’re not as experienced, or if you have trouble remembering the “lefty-loosy, righty-tighty” rule, call an experienced repair-person, be it your neighbor or a plumber. Thankfully, if you need to call the pros, this is a quick, inexpensive fix.
2. Worn-down plumbing
From worn-down threading to a tear in the pipe, these fixes can only be kept at bay with duct tape for so long. Eventually, you’ll have to replace your worn-down plumbing. If you’re replacing the pipe yourself, you’ll need to ensure you have the right bend, size, and shape and the right washer, nuts, valves, and gaskets for your replacement. It could be one part or multiple, but if you’re unsure which part of your bathtub or sink is worn down, call the plumber to replace.
3. Rusty plumbing
Rust causes more problems than just worn pipes. Rust can contaminate your water, damage or discolor your tubs and sinks, and they’re a ticking time bomb for a leak going from bad to worse. Rust also weakens metal.
Considering all of the above, if there’s a leak because of a rusty pipe, the entire pipe will need to be replaced immediately. When it’s replaced, you should look for high-quality pipes, washers, etc. to ensure the rust won’t come back for a long time.
If your pipes keep leaking, that can spell bad news for your home, especially as temperatures cool. Again, water expands as it freezes, so it can make leaks in pipes worse in the winter. In fact, if a leaky pipe isn’t addressed fast enough, mold and mildew can become another problem fast. So if you suspect a leak now, head off a giant headache and hit to your wallet this winter. Call a plumber now!
If you think there’s a leak, and if you want to change up your entire bath, give us a call as soon as possible! When we install a tub-to-shower conversion, a walk-in bathtub, or a tub or shower replacement, we use materials that will last as long as possible, preventing leaks for a long time. Contact us today and receive a free estimate here.