Winter Weather Home Survival – Preventing Damage From Frozen Pipes & What To Do If Your Pipes Do Freeze
What To Do If Your Pipes Do Freeze
Frozen Water Pipes = Broken Water Pipes = Water Damage To Your Home!
Seems like we have been experiencing one winter weather advisory after another for, well, weeks. Our area was recently hit with heavy snowfall and then and ice storm to top it off, but the forecast doesn’t look much better with the upcoming weekend. On the news last night I noticed that over the next few days the temperatures are expected to stay very low, leaving us with this snow pack for a while. This can play havoc on your home with the threat of frozen water pipes.
If you didn’t already know, ASJ is a full service Emergency Restoration Company (as well as many other things) and this season has been absolutely crazy for us with all of the abnormally extreme cold weather. In January alone we have responded to over 30 properties that received water damage due to broken pipes from the cold weather. In past years we only performed an average of 10-15 water damage restoration jobs from broken water pipes caused by cold weather. In short, this cold weather is really causing some serious problems!
The Damage That Follows A Burst Water Pipe
A broken water pipe can be pretty serious depending on where it is in your home. Obviously there are threats of water damage to your carpets and furniture, but it can also effect the structural integrity of your home. Within minutes you will have staining and possibly bleaching of carpets and fabrics that the water comes into contact with. Within hours your drywall will begin to swell and disintegrate. And finally, in the days and weeks to come there will be a significant threat of mold from prolonged moisture. That mold can begin impacting your health as well as penetrating items in your home like jute backing, paper covering on sheetrock, paneling and the wood holding your house together!
How To Prevent Frozen Water Pipes
Prevention is simple, but not fool proof. Depending on how cold it gets you might still end up with a frozen pipe. There are steps you can take to decrease your odds of ending up with frozen water pipes. Make sure to unhook all hoses from outside the house and cover your outside water spigots. If your home has a shutoff valve for outside water faucets, shut it off and drain any water remaining in the pipes leading to the outside faucets. Apply heat tape to any exposed pipes you have on the exterior of your home. If you don’t have heat tape just find something to insulate the pipe to prevent direct exposure. Lastly, let a small trickle of water run in sinks and bathtubs that have supply pipes that run along outside walls.
What To Do If You Have A Burst Water Pipe
There are three main steps that should be done immediately. First, shut the water off! More water equals more damage so stopping the inflow of water as soon as possible is crucial. Next, call your insurance agent. They will create a claim number and suggest next steps for you. Lastly, call a restoration contractor like us! A restoration contractor will help with procuring a plumber to complete the repairs, document the damage for your insurance company and, most importantly, begin the process of water extraction. The quicker you get the water out of the home, the better your odds are of not having a larger repair bill. In some cases we have been able to get the water out quickly enough that no additional repairs were needed.