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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Avoid Frozen Pipes

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Winter Snow Covered Home You can prevent nearly all frozen pipes from happening and save an average of $5,000 in damages

The best-case scenario for frozen pipes is to avoid them all together. You can make that possible by taking some simple steps. Read on to find some facts about the potential damage of frozen pipes and ways to keep your pipes flowing in the coldest weather.

What Many People Don’t Know About Frozen Pipes
The insurance company, State Farm, says a 1/8-inch crack in a pipe in your home can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold. Ouch.

And many people don’t know other facts about frozen pipes. For example, did you know:

  • Frozen water pipes are a problem in both cold and warmer climates?
  • Frozen pipes affect a quarter-million U.S. families each winter?
  • Pipes can freeze in homes with either plastic or copper pipes?

Frozen pipes are all too common, especially considering the damage they cause is largely preventable.

$5,000 Typical to Repair Frozen Pipe Damage
Water damage from bursting pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with an average claim cost of about $5,000. Repairing the actual broken pipe is often the least costly part of the damage frozen pipes cause.

The damage to fixtures and home finishes from water spurting from a ruptured pipe is what runs up your bill. When a frozen pipe bursts you often must repair the flooring, drywall, and anything left on the floor.

Why Pipes Burst
When water freezes it expands. That’s why a can of soda explodes if you put it in a freezer to chill quickly and forget about it. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way. If the water expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes, and major damage begins.

Concerned About Frozen Pipes? Call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield Today. Call 860.649.0836

Preventing Frozen Pipes
So what can you do to avoid frozen pipes? First know what causes frozen pipes. The three central causes of frozen pipes are quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats set too low. So, make sure your heating system is working properly and that vulnerable pipes, like those that run close to your exterior walls, are insulated.

If you go away for several days in the winter leave the heat on. The Insurance Information Institute recommends setting your thermostat at 65 degrees. Have someone check your home and property, if you can. If you expect to be away for extended periods — say, you go South for the winter — have your water turned off.

Others actions you can take to help prevent frozen pipes are:
•    Consider insulating pipes in your crawl spaces and attic
•    Keep your garage doors closed if you have water supply lines in the garage
•    Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems
•    Wrap pipes in heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables. Use produces approved by an independent testing organization like Underwriters Laboratories
•    During severe cold turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night
•    If you need to be away from home, consider draining your water system before you go
•    Identify the locations of shut-off valves so that you’re prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts

Concerned About Frozen Pipes? Call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield Today. Call 860.649.0836

What If Your Pipes Do Freeze?
First, turn off the flow of water. That prevents further damage. To do that you need to know ahead of time where your main water shut-off valve is. Clearly mark it with a bright sticker. You may have to find it in the dark.

Next, call a plumber or contractor like SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield to conduct an initial water damage and repair assessment.  

You should also take photographs to document the initial damage for your insurance company. Hold onto the broken pipe because your insurance company may want to inspect it.
Check Out Our Other Blog Posts   
Every month on the SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield blog we publish educational articles on how Manchester and Mansfield residents can protect their homes and businesses from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm, or other damage. Here are a few blog posts that you might find helpful:  

Remember, SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield is here to help. We work on frozen pipes and severe weather damage. You can call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield anytime, 24/7. At SERVPRO we’re trained in many restoration services. We know the safest, most advanced, and quickest ways to help you recover from frozen pipe and other damage to your home or business.

SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield
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Ralph DiCristofaro
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