With the cold New England months upon us, it’s time to start thinking about some ways to ensure your septic system works properly and efficiently all winter long. This might not be on the top of your to-do list, but it will save you time and money in the future. Things like poorly insulated pipes or a failed leach field are common pain points for homeowners in the colder months. Here are some proactive ways to prepare your home now:
1. Schedule an inspection and pump before problems start.
We typically recommend routine service and pumps every 2-3 years, so be sure to schedule yours before the ground freezes. Once the winter months hit, it gets more difficult (and therefore more expensive) to dig into the ground, assess your pipes or septic, and make repairs. Plus, we all tend to spend more time inside during the winter months and have guests visit during the holidays, resulting in more usage and filling up your tank faster. Get yours pumped now to prevent headaches later on.
2. Make sure your pipes are properly insulated.
Whether you recently moved into a new home or have lived there for years, it may be time to inspect and even re-insulate if needed. Frozen pipes can quite literally happen overnight. When temperatures drop during cold winter nights, standing water inside the pipes can freeze, the frozen water then expands which can lead to small cracks or even bursts resulting in property damage. This makes for a costly repair, so spending a smaller amount of money now to ensure you have proper insulation will save you big money in the long run.
If you’re planning an extended vacation this holiday season or even if the temps are expected to drop low during a shorter trip, ask a friend or neighbor to come over and run warm water. This helps your system continually run in order to prevent pipes from freezing.
3. Repair leaks.
If you notice any of your sinks, showers, or toilets are dripping or your pipes have a leak, be sure to fix them now before it gets cold. Don’t forget to also check appliances that use water such as your dishwasher or washer and use them regularly to avoid freezing.
If you do have a leak or a pipe that’s rotting, our team can recommend efficient solutions to repair it (even after the ground has frozen). We can install a liner directly into the pipes to reinforce them.
4. Be on the lookout for issues and act quickly.
Stay vigilant and be on the lookout for signs of septic system or leach field failure. By looking out for problems and then addressing them quickly, you’ll be able to stop them from getting worse and more costly to fix.
5. Let the snow act as an insulator.
Contrary to what you may think, fluffy fresh snow can actually be good for your septic. The first snowfall can serve as a great insulator and can help keep your field warmer with an extra layer of cover. However, the danger comes when that snow gets compacted. A common mistake homeowners make is driving over their system or pushing plowed snow onto it. The compacted snow does not insulate nearly as well and can cause it to freeze over. Stop mowing that area in November to allow taller grass to insulate or add an extra layer of topsoil on the field before it snows to keep the ground warmer. You can also put up a temporary fence around the field to ensure no one drives or plows over the area.
For over 40 years, we have serviced septic systems throughout New Hampshire. Beat the winter rush and schedule an appointment with us today. If you have frozen pipes or are experiencing water damage from burst pipes, call us at (603) 945-7355. Our experienced technicians can identify the problem, make timely repairs, and help prevent further damage.