As temperatures dipped into the single digits and wind chills 10 to 15 degrees below zero whipped wailed, the Chicago area got its first deep freeze of the season on January 10, bringing with it the potential for serious problems.
Authorities expect the cold to stay for a few days, with January 12 being the coldest of the freeze. The cold snap is also the area’s most chilling in more than 10 months.
Besides being incredibly unpleasant to deal with, the arctic temperatures can also cause some serious issues, such as frozen pipes, which can lead to leaks.
“As the temperatures rise, either they’re going to have no issues, or where there’s a crack in the pipe — as the water thaws through it — it’ll become a leak,” Midway Building Services operations manager Bob Maroney told CBS Chicago last winter when about 60 buildings, including a lot of high-rises, had to deal with frozen pipe issues.
In 2014, the city had more than 4,000 calls for frozen pipes by the end of February.
“It’s one of the worst winters we’ve had in years,” Department of Water Management commissioner Thomas Powers told 5NBC that year. “The frost is going down 5 feet and that’s right where the water service comes in. And we are seeing a lot of frozen service.”
As the current cold snap sets in, homeowners would be wise to take preventative steps to ensure that their pipes from freezing. According to Allstate Insurance, you can prevent pipes from freezing by disconnecting hoses, covering outside faucets, keeping a house’s temperature at 68 degrees, opening cabinet doors below sinks to allow the heat to circulate, wrapping pipes near exterior walls in insulation, closing all windows near water pipes, and heating the basement.
In the event that pipes do freeze and burst, homeowners may want to consider all of their options. Trenchless pipe replacement is cleaner, safer, and typically saves homeowners around 40% compared with the cost of traditional sewer replacement, making it the best choice in the event of a plumbing emergency.