As the temperatures continue to fall as we enter into winter, freezing pipes present a major problem to homeowners. But when they burst, it can cause thousands in water damage, spilling all over the floor until treatment can occur.
On the other hand, here are some steps on how to prevent pipes from freezing. They are simple, inexpensive, and can save you from an eye-opening property damage bill in the future.
In the Event of an Emergency
If you are already dealing with water damage from a burst pipe, don’t hesitate to call your local water damage restoration company, like ServiceMaster Restoration Services. Our technicians are available 24/7 to address all burst pipe emergencies.
Using professional equipment and products, we will fully extract the water, dry out the affected building materials, and repair any soiled materials. In a timely manner, we will have the affected area fully restored and ready to go throughout the winter.
Worst Locations of Pipes During the Winter
On the other hand, most indoor pipes may not face a risk as high as those located outside due to their location. But those at most risk for freezing include those that are located in:
- Exterior walls
- Unheated areas of the home, like basement, crawlspace, or shed
- Exterior part of home, such as underground
Prevent Pipes from Freezing Outside
Did you know that a frozen garden hose is actually at a higher risk than a broken one? This is because it can cause an exterior pipe to burst.
How it happens: When the water in the hose freezes, it expands and applies extra pressure to the entire plumbing system. But simply disconnecting, draining, and storing the hose before winter should take away the biggest risk of burst pipes.
But then there’s the spigots. If you don’t have ones that are frost-proof, close the shutoff valve on the inside of the house – the one that leads to the faucet – open and drain the water from the spigot, and attach a faucet insulator. They’re inexpensive at the hardware store and will save thousands in water damage costs down the road.
Interior Pipes Exposed to Cold
While you shouldn’t have to worry too much about interior pipes, even in unheated portions of the home since they are still shielded from outside conditions. However, take extra caution when the temperatures starts dropping below 0 degrees. These will include the pipes located in the attic, crawlspace, and garage.
To save yourself from worrying too much, you can get cheap insulation from the hardware store and simply slip them over the pipe. But for severely cold days, consider taping them up with thermostatic tape that’s a little more expensive, but they will turn on when sensing specific temperatures.
Poorly Insulated Building Materials
While many pipe burst located in the interior and exterior of the home can be noticed right away since they are not hidden by anything, those located in the walls is another story. Especially within the exterior walls, check the insulation to see that it is in good condition and installed properly. If not, try to have it fixed as early as possible; it will surely be an investment, but one that is well worth making to prevent a disaster down the road.
There is also another option of rerouting the pipe. If you are especially worried, redirect the pipe to a different area that is away from the exterior wall. But this too can be costly, starting at $700 for the average home.
Vacant Homes During the Winter
Nobody can blame you for going south during the winter; surely everyone wishes they could. But before you go, don’t forget to take these preventative measures to avoid coming home to a flooded home in the spring.
- Do not set the heating system lower than 55 degrees.
- Turn off the water supply to the home and drain all appliances by switching on the faucets, flushing the toilets, and pulling water supply lines. Just remember to connect them again before turning the water back on.
On days of extremely cold temperatures, call a licensed plumber to inspect the water supply system, drain the water heater, and pour some anti-freeze in drains and pipes.
Dealing with Water Damage Disasters from Burst Pipes
While there are measures you can take to avoid frozen and burst pipes this winter, not all disasters can be prevented. Due to numerous sources and hidden pipes, they can happen anywhere and at anytime. That’s why ServiceMaster Restoration Services is available 24/7 to respond to frozen pipe emergencies in the Omaha, NE area.
Using commercial restoration equipment, we will first remove the source of the damage, extract the excess water, and finally dry out the affected materials. Within a timely manner, we can have both commercial and residential properties returned to their original condition, even in the coldest conditions. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for water damage cleanup as soon as you find the problem.