Let’s be honest; North Dakota is an impressive place! However, two facts of life in North Dakota, the cold and potential for flooding, can wreak havoc with the plumbing in your home. The prospect of frozen pipes, not to mention a flooded basement, send chills through the average homeowner. Luckily, we don’t have to succumb to plumbing disasters. Here are some strategies to protect your home from typical plumbing problems in North Dakota.
North Dakotans pride themselves on their ability to survive and even thrive, during the frigid months. The biggest plumbing worry during the winter is the potential for frozen pipes. Frozen pipes are so dangerous because they can crack and break. Even a small crack can release a startling amount of water into your home. Cracked and broken pipes cause significant, costly, structural damage to your home. Plumbers recommend the following steps to avoid a frozen pipe catastrophe.
- Drain and disconnect garden hoses. A garden hose attached to the house poses the risk of freezing. The frozen water in the garden hose builds pressure and can cause damage to the water pipes in your home. You can eliminate this problem by draining your garden hoses and storing them for the winter.
- Maintain your water heater so that it has optimal performance during the winter months. Your water heater works very hard during freezing weather and needs to be in good condition. Your water pipes might freeze if the water heater stops working so make sure that it is in good working condition before the outside temperature plunges.
- Keep your house heated to at least 55 degrees. Frosty temperatures in a building can lead to frozen pipes.
- Let your faucet drip during the coldest days of the year. Plumbers recommend a steady drip as a means to keep the water moving in the pipes. Water in motion is unlikely to freeze.
Once the freezing, icy, snowy weather of winter winds down, homeowners begin to face the second plumbing challenge in many parts of North Dakota. Flooding. All of that melting snow and ice often leads to a minor, and sometimes severe, flooding. There are a few preventative steps that help reduce the danger of flooding in your home.
- Clean out your sump pump and check that it is still working. Trust me; you’ll appreciate it when you hear your sump pump click on during a storm.
- Call a professional to perform routine sewer maintenance. There is nothing as disheartening as sewer water in your basement.
- Clean out your gutters. Cleaning your gutters will keep water flowing away from your house during a storm.
- Redo your landscape, if needed, so that water flows away from your house. Sometimes, changing a flower garden can ensure a dry basement.
Finally, who doesn’t want to live in North Dakota? With a little planning and maintenance, it is possible to minimize the twin threats of frozen pipes and flooding in your home. Good luck!