Lehigh Valley

Cold weather could cause house problems if unprepared

The freezing temperatures outside can cause some big problems inside, which is why experts are warning homeowners to prepare for the cold season.

"The main problem in the winter time is the homeowner's negligence with their outside faucets," said Fred Moyer, President of Fred Moyer Plumbing. 

Moyer is a plumber in Allentown. He says far too often people forget to take their hoses off outdoor faucets, leading to cracked pipes and ultimately flooded floors.

"Nine times out of 10 it's going to freeze back into the house and in the spring or when you turn that faucet on, you're going to have a mess in the house," said Moyer.

In Fogelsville, State Farm agent Shawn Leh says he sees similar problems when the temperatures take a plunge.

"Most of the time frozen pipes," says Leh.

Leh says he sees this mostly common in vacant houses or rental properties. He says the pipes will freeze and split and even the smallest crack can cause serious water damage.

"It's real important to rip all the dry wall out, plaster, whatever it may be, carpets and get dehumidifiers and blowers in there," said Leh.

Leh says the result of flooded pipes can also lead to mold.

To prevent your pipes from freezing the experts say there's a few easy tips: insulate exposed water pipes, seal any cracks or gaps that could bring in cold air, disconnect outside water hoses and drain pipes, and keep your thermostat set above 55 degrees.

Moyer says sometimes running a small trickle of water can help too.

"Let your water run on your kitchen faucet just so it keeps moving," said Moyer.

Both Moyer and Leh say to avoid needing their services this winter, stay on top of your pipes and get everything checked out before it's too late.

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