This time of year, burst water pipes are a very real possibility. When temperatures drop below freezing, sitting water located in pipes such as outdoor hose bibs, sprinkler lines, water pipes in basements and garages, and swimming pool water lines can expand as it freezes, putting pressure on the pipes that hold it. When this expansion occurs, pipes may burst causing flooding and major – expensive – damage to your home.
While ACCORD Restoration is here to help if that should happen, we’d rather share some helpful tips that can prevent it.
Steps to Take to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
Remove outdoor hoses and drain them of all water. Shut off the valve that runs to those hoses from inside and turn on the outside hose bibs to drain the water caught between the interior valve and the outside bib.
Check your home for other areas where water lines may be exposed to low temperatures such as swimming pool lines and pipes in garage or attic areas. Water lines close to walls, such as those in kitchens, can also be susceptible to freezing. Drain any water lines that are not regularly used such as swimming pool lines.
On interior pipes and those that are used throughout the winter, consider installing pipe sleeves or heat tape on exposed water pipes.
Set your home’s thermostat to no less than 55° F, even when you are out of town.
If your garage contains water pipes, be sure to keep it closed when not in use.
In extreme cold, if you are concerned about the pipes in your kitchen, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
Thawing Frozen Pipes
If you turn on pipes that are on outside walls or exposed to the outdoors and either nothing or just a trickle comes out, they are likely frozen.
The first thing to do is to keep the faucet on. As the pipe begins to warm and the frozen water melts, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. This running water will help the ice melt.
Using a hair dryer, heating pad or space heater (whichever is easiest considering the location of the pipe), heat the pipes until full water flow is restored. Be sure NOT to use a blowtorch, propane heater, open flame or other heating sources that might be dangerous. If the application of heat to the pipe does not return water to its full pressure, call a licensed professional to assist.
Check all of the other faucets in your home to be sure that they have not been affected. If they have, locate their water source and repeat the heating process above.
What to Do When Pipes Burst
If a pipe burst does occur and flooding begins in the home, call a professional immediately. A reputable restoration company will have someone on site within hours to begin the clean-up and restoration process.
Turn off all water valves.
Remove any items that can be moved out of standing water.
Use whatever is available to remove standing water, such as buckets, a shop vac and towels.
Until professional equipment arrives, use fans to begin the dryout process. Mold will begin forming within 72 hours of a flood, making immediate dryout crucial.
Here to Help with 24 Hour Emergency Response
We hope that this information was helpful and that you and your family are pipe burst free this winter. However, should you need us, we’ll be there.
The professionals at ACCORD Restoration are available 24 hours a day to provide you with timely estimates and guaranteed completion times. Call 888-277-0651 and our crews can be on-site in one hour.
ACCORD Restoration gets the job done right the first time. Our team has extensive experience and has completed advanced training. You can rest assured that your property is in the hands of the best.