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How Can Weather Affect Your Home’s Electrical Wiring?

During this period of time, wiring faces risks such as corrosion, freezing, resistance, and contraction. When the frigid temperatures finally arrive, it is important to attend to your wiring’s maintenance. Even in temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit, there are preventative measures you can take to protect your precious electrical system.

Insulation Difficulties

There is typically a fair amount of insulation around a home’s wiring. Winter weather conditions, however, can alter its flexibility. This may make your current wiring’s insulation less flexible. If this insulation starts to stiffen or even become a bit brittle, then its protective properties diminish. Insulation plays an important role in any building’s wiring system. This is from preventing electrical shocks to protecting the surrounding materials from touching any wires. Whether you have rubber coatings or PVC protection cables, it’s common for both hairline fractures and microsplits to occur in wiring insulation. These problems allow moisture to reach the wires, which can lead to corrosion and potential power failures in the near future.

Expansion and Contraction

Just like various other materials, it is relatively common for electrical wiring to start contracting as local temperatures get lower and lower. Electrical wiring also has a tendency to experience expansion when a cold streak comes to an end and warmer temperatures arrive. This type of weather fluctuation can put a lot of stress on your building’s wiring.

The risks of such stress include the potential for wire damage and loosened connections. In the case of degrading wires, your house’s risk of an electrical fire increases. Lightfoot Mechanical‘s experienced electricians, fortunately, provide maintenance services to identify such issues with your wiring to avoid severe damage later on.

Brittleness in Wires

Another thing local residents need to understand about weather’s impact on their wiring is what can happen when their home’s wires become brittle. This is a common occurrence during times of extreme cold. It raises the chances of breaks and cracks compromising the function, integrity, and safety of a building’s wiring system.

This, of course, is a very hazardous situation that you must deal with the minute you become aware of it. You can discuss your house’s brittle wiring with Lightfoot Mechanical if you need assistance in this area.

Outdoor Wiring

If your home utilizes outdoor wiring as part of its electrical system, then it will be even more vulnerable to frigid and icy weather conditions. When ice builds up on outdoor outlets or power lines, this is quite concerning from a safety perspective. Ice also adds quite a lot of weight to anything it rests on. With this much extra weight, structural damage is a real possibility. Sagginess in powerlines and even breaking can become hazards at this point.

It is crucial, therefore, to inspect your house’s outdoor wiring often. When you do so, make sure to get rid of any snow or ice buildup on the wiring as well as those outlets. Furthermore, please make sure that everything is sealed appropriately. Weatherproof covers a wise investment to make with regard to protecting outdoor outlets and wires. It never hurts to have one more layer of protection between them and the cold.

Conductivity

Another aspect of the wiring system that many residents do not realize is dependent on the weather is conductivity. Dropping temperatures have a strong impact on metals, which electrical wires contain. As a result, resistance increases. Electricity’s flow varies wildly based on resistance levels. This means the voltage may fluctuate or decrease. One warning sign of increased resistance is flickering lights or abnormal behavior from your electronic devices.

If you wish to solve this problem, then some higher-quality types of electrical wiring are available. These are ones that their manufacturers design specifically to hold strong in fluctuating temperatures. Routing inspections from our licensed Lightfoot Mechanical electricians will also aid you in detecting conductivity issues before they worsen.

Moisture

With snow and ice, obviously, comes a high level of moisture. It should be no surprise that the moisture that snow produces can be very damaging to your house’s electrical system. Melted snow that seeps into wiring damages the wires. But it also affects other electrical components if it reaches those areas of the system too. Both corrosion and short circuits are prime concerns when it comes to winter moisture.

Thankfully, preventative actions are relatively simple. Appropriate insulation is mandatory in such frigid winters. This is true not only for your walls but also for your electrical system’s components. Correctly sealing any cracks and gaps that you find within your house’s ceilings and walls is also a vital step. Gutter and roof maintenance also come into play with regard to stopping potential moisture leaks.

Making Your Wiring Winter-Ready

We’ve already given you some advice on preparing your house’s wiring for the colder months. However, it is important to be thorough when it comes to ensuring that your home’s electrical system is truly winter-ready.

Prior to the start of winter, it can help to schedule an electrical inspection with Lightfoot Mechanical. Getting issues handled beforehand will give your building’s wiring the best chance of making it through the frigid days with ease.

Investing in the proper weatherproofing measures is also something you cannot neglect. Sealing gaps not only defends your electrical wiring from the unforgiving elements, but it also creates a more comfortable living area indoors.

Sufficient insulation is a key factor in determining whether your wiring will remain in optimal condition throughout the winter. If you are concerned about harsh weather, then winter-focused insulation materials are definitely a worthy upgrade.

Finally, installing a heat tracing system is very advantageous. These systems prevent wiring and other key components of your house’s electrical system from freezing. This is even if the temperature around them falls below freezing.

Delivering local families with reliable electrical, HVAC, and plumbing services is our focus here at Lightfoot Mechanical. It’s been that way since 1983. There is a live answering service available to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’re also an authorized Generac dealer with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. To contribute to our beloved community, we partner with associations like the Center of Hope, the Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity.

Our licensed electricians, HVAC technicians, and plumbers have a wealth of experience to draw from when servicing your residence. From our consultative approach to our lifetime workmanship warranty, the Lightfoot Mechanical team makes it clear we care about you. We also offer services for your air conditioning, heating, and plumbing, including installation, maintenance, and repair. Contact Lightfoot Mechanical today to discuss getting the electrical system in your Weatherford home and its wiring prepared for winter.

Meet the Author
Gary Lightfoot

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Gary Lightfoot took over his family business and continues to run it with the values and standards set 35 years ago

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