OSHKOSH — Severe winter weather can lead to serious damage to homes. Plumbers at R and R Plumbing in Oshkosh have some advice on how to try to prevent pipes from freezing and ultimately bursting.
“Turn your water on just to a nice pencil stream…" said R and R co-owner Randy Raddatz, "If the water’s moving, it generally will not freeze in the pipes.”
Raddatz also suggests placing insulation around pipes as another way to avoid freezing. He says insulation helps shield pipes from cold air, and is found in most hardware stores.
He warns that without proper precautions, sub-zero temperatures and high winds like the ones seen in Wisconsin this week can cause pipes to freeze and burst with alarming speed.
“With these kind of temperatures we’ve been having, it gets really bad…" said Raddatz.
"An hour and this stuff will freeze, maybe less.”
R and R apprentice Taylor Albright says he got a firsthand look at the damage a burst pipe can cause on Thursday.
“When I got there I could see that there was still water coming in…" he said, recounting his trip to a house with a burst pipe in an upper crawl space.
"Once I got in where the break was, it got above knee-deep," he continued.
Albright says that damage from a break can be extremely costly to fix, especially if it occurs within the outer walls of a house.
“It can add up fast into, probably the upper $10,000-20,000 range if it’s not cared for right away.”
In the event of a break, Albright urges people to seek help immediately.
“If you have a burst pipe, first things first, shut off the water, get the water shut off as fast as possible," he said.
"Call a plumber, get someone in there to fix it and get you back up and running.”