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Winter drain guide: how cold weather affects your pipes

Ice, snow and cold weather can cause havoc on infrastructure — and our drains are no exception.

Luckily, it’s easy to take care of drains in winter if you know what to look for. In this article, we’ll explore the impact of cold weather on drains, along with how you can maintain your drainage systems during winter.

Winter drain guide: how cold weather affects your pipes

How cold weather affects your pipes

Cold weather can affect your drainage pipes in two main ways:

  • Frozen pipes: Cold water running through drainage systems can result in frozen pipes. In some scenarios, this can lead to cracked or burst pipes, resulting in expense and wasted time to repair the problem, along with potential mould and mildew problems. If your premises is a business, this disruption and delay to normal operations can cost you further expense in company downtime. Signs of frozen pipes can include frost on the pipe exterior, strange drain smells and noises, and changes to water pressure or colour. If you’re not sure, get a professional to take a look.
  • Worsening clogs: During low temperatures, grease, fats, hair and everything that’s made its way into your drainage system can solidify in the pipes to form clogs. Dealing with this buildup before cold weather sets in can prevent clogs from forming or worsening. Boiling water or drainage chemicals can help dislodge clogs. However, if the problem is extensive or recurring, it’s always best to get a professional to investigate.

The above issues can be further exacerbated by extra rain during the winter months along with an increase in debris falling, which can all run into the drains.

How to stop my pipes from freezing

We understand that we’re all feeling the crunch. While it may be tempting to never put the heating on, you’ll end up paying more to repair a damaged or burst pipe that has frozen. That’s why little but regular is the best way to go with your heating.

The best way of preventing pipes from freezing is to have your heating on a low setting at certain points of the day. This way, you’ll give your pipes this regular burst of warmth they need to prevent them freezing.

Also, opening up the cupboard where the pipes run may help heat access this pipework. Keeping your cupboard closed all the time can result in cold pipes inside.

Insulation is also another great technique for keeping pipes warm, and can be purchased at most DIY shops.

10 tips to prepare your drains for winter

Here are some things you can do this winter to keep your drains in the best shape:

  • Ensure the heating comes on regularly at a low setting
  • Fix any leaks
  • Clear out gutters of leaf-fall and other debris
  • Occasionally open up the cupboards where the pipes are housed
  • Take care of repairs quickly as any damage can worsen over winter
  • Insulate pipes where appropriate
  • Locate your stop tap so you can act quickly in a burst pipe situation
  • Get rid of grease buildup or clogs to stop them solidifying further
  • Avoid disposing of grease, fat or food waste down sinks, instead wiping plates and placing these wipes in the bin
  • Arrange a drain inspection to check the health of your drains

Some of these actions you can complete yourself. Others will need to be taken care of by a professional such as MPH Drain Services.

Looking for free call outs in Yorkshire and beyond? Here at MPH Drain Services, we only charge for the work carried out, providing competitive rates and no-obligation quotations. This makes us one of the most cost-efficient drain services in the region. Get in touch to discover how we’ll take care of your drainage system this winter.

Call us 24/7 - Freephone 01977 802 283
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Published: 23 November 2023 Category: Drain Repairs

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