Keeping your home clear of icy dangers - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Keeping your home clear of icy dangers

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Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - Many things don't respond to bone-chilling cold very well and your home is no exception.  Frozen vents, burst pipes and failed furnaces are more than a small inconvenience in this weather.

"What we got there is just a sewer vent that freezes up in the winter time," says Service Manager of Wiersgalla Company Russell Larson.

This is one of the many repairs plumbers and heating technicians face when temperatures dip below zero.

"Moisture from the sewer vent, as it passes through the roof, forms ice crystals inside the vent pipe.  Then that slowly closes up and freezes shut," says Larson.

And out of all the vents in the home to freeze up, this one has some of the most serious consequences.

"The Methane or the sewer gas can back up into the home," says Larson.

If notice an odor it's important to get these guys on your roof pronto to fix the problem.

"Some homes you can get on the roof fairly easy if it's not too icy or snow covered.  You can get up there and clean out the vent on the roof like we did with this one," says Larson.

Once the vent is clean you can also try a few tricks to prevent it from icing up again, especially with white PVC exhaust pipes.

"I recommend people paint the pipe black and that will help absorb some of the sun's rays and keep it thawed out and keep it open," says Larson.

However, the list of problems can grow as the cold hangs around this week.

"As long as the weather stays cold long enough the cold will eventually creep in the home.  You start seeing problems with burst water pipes in basements and inside walls," says Larson.

The septic tank is another area you'll want to keep clear during the winter.

"Avoid pumping your tanks unless you have to.  Because you need that heat and that bacteria in that tank to keep it flowing so it will keep your drain field open and keep your tank thawed out," says Larson.

But perhaps the best advice.

"Try to stay warm," says Larson.

Other fixes for frozen vents include placing electrical heat tape on the PVC pipe and adding insulation around the roof opening.

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