Winter Water Damage
Winter Water Damage
Along with its chilling temps, winter brings along a host of water damage possibilities. Residential homes are especially vulnerable to water damage during the winter. When the temperature is below freezing there are three main types of winter water damage. Today, we are going to focus on one of the most common causes of water damage, burst pipes. Broken or burst pipes are one of the top sources of water damage. In most cases, burst pipes can be prevented.
Burst Pipes Are Common in the Winter
Pipes, whether plastic or metal, are known for bursting in sub-freezing temps. Contrary to popular belief, pipes rarely burst due to expanding ice contained within them. Rather, pipes break due to the buildup of water pressure between a sink’s faucet and an ice blockage. No matter how sturdy a pipe may be, it’s no match for expanding water. The pipe will rupture.
Typically, uninsulated pipes are especially prone to breakage. Pipes that are located along the exterior walls and water pipes that run along unheated areas of a home. Such as, the attic, basement, garage, crawl space or underneath a sink.
The number one protection against a burst pipe is insulation. Before winter’s arrival, inspect all areas of your home that contain unheated water lines. You can purchase pipe sleeves and fit them around the pipes in the garage, under the sink and beneath the bathroom cabinets. If pipe sleeves are unavailable, another option is using a quarter-inch of newspaper to surround the pipes, which offers an equally effective solution against the damage caused by sustained freezing temperatures.
Maintaining a cozy indoor temperature will help prevent your pipes from freezing. Even when you are away, you should run the heat continuously at no less than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts also suggest maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the home. (This may be costlier than turning down the heat at night, but it may prevent an even more expensive broken pipe.) Another tried and true method to prevent a break in your water pipe is to let the faucet trickle water. Dripping even the smallest volume of water during subfreezing temperatures allows the water to run through the pipe without freezing. Unheated compartments of a home can also benefit from warm air. A common winter weather defense strategy is leaving the kitchen cupboards and bathroom cabinets open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Also, remember to keep garage doors closed if water lines run through them.
When water pipes do freeze, they can be thawed. Apply a towel soaked in hot water around the frozen pipe to slowly thaw the freeze. An electrical heating pad will work, just as well. Also, keep the faucet running, this allows the flowing water to gradually melt the ice.
Despite all preventive measures, disasters can still occur. When an emergency happens, contact a professional water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of Licking County. Our highly trained professionals combined with our state-of-the-art drying equipment are well-equipped to remove all excess moisture from homes and businesses in substantially less time than a standard dehumidifier. It is crucial to remove standing water and stabilize the environment as soon as possible.
Water damage restoration technicians use advanced equipment to detect the level of water damage in the affected area. Air movers, dehumidifiers and other high-tech equipment are used to thoroughly dry out the affected areas.
Our specialists will quickly return your home to its preloss condition. The certified water damage restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Licking County will respond immediately to calls within Licking County, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.