Don’t forget to keep your plumbing vents and roof free of snow. Here’s why.

National / World

With the snow accumulation in Minot and more of the winter season ahead, there are some less-visible issues that can come about.

Plumbing vents allow air pressure to escape from the plumbing system. If this vent gets clogged with snow or ice, it can cause potentially harmful gases to be stuck inside your home.

Signs that there’s a blockage include bathtubs and sinks draining slowly, gurgling in your toilet and low water pressure.

Some clogs can be fixed by yourself, but if it’s too bad, you may need some help.

“You can run hot water through your drains and faucets and showers, things like that, and the hot water will actually give the warm vapors up and if it’s a thin layer of ice, that might melt through it alone,” said Jacob Filkins, a senior firefighter for the Minot Fire Department. “But otherwise, if the pipe is frozen solid you may have to call a plumber or licensed professional to come out and fix it.”

Another thing you should be mindful of clearing is the snow on your rooftop.

The importance of removing the snow depends on the type of roof you have.

“Usually with a pitched roof, it’s not as big a deal,” said Filkins. “They’re kind of designed to take the load, transfer it down to the ground safely and once it gets up to a certain level, the snow generally stops building up and will fall off. If you have a flat roof, it’s a little more important just to keep that weight from building up too much to possibly the capacity of the roof.”

Filkins says he wouldn’t recommend people clean their own roof because it could become dangerous, so they should seek professional help.

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