If you live in cold climates where winter is an actual season of the year, you are no stranger to subfreezing temperatures as the norm during the winter and seasonal transition months. While this level of cold is most visible in the form of huge piles of plowed snow, icy roads, and frozen waterways, it carries a potentially devastating danger to your home when it comes to your water pipes. Depending on where the pipes in your home are located or how well insulated they are, the perils of pipes freezing and bursting during the coldest months of the year are very real.
When water inside a pipe freezes, it blocks the passage and stops the proper flow of water downstream. When this happens the pipe can only take so much stress before the high pressure forces the blocked contents out anyway it can. This is when the pipe bursts and water flows out and over any surface and structure in the area. Damage occurs quickly, as water spreads in and behind walls, under carpets and flooring, and into furniture and belongings. This can result in unimaginable damage and possibly even mold the longer the mess goes unnoticed or unhandled.
Burst frozen pipes are an emergency situation, which means you need a professional water damage cleanup and restoration company who will act fast and clean up the mess thoroughly. The first step after technicians are dispatched is to locate the burst and look for other blockages. Those areas need to be repaired immediately to prevent further damage that can hinder cleanup efforts. The next step is to extract all excess water and thoroughly dry the area that was flooded by the burst pipe. Items that sustained water damage will also need to be dried.
Keeping an eye on possible places of mold buildup is crucial. Mold can be a serious health hazard for people with respiratory issues. Mold can also destroy your home’s contents and weaken structural items depending on the location and severity of the infestation. For this reason alone, you want the experience and expertise of a professional water-damage restoration company that uses IICRC-certified technicians who focus on providing detailed water damage cleanup and restoration with efficiency and speed, and they do so with all the right specialized equipment.
Of course you can take a number of precautions to reduce the chance of your pipes freezing. For example, you can insulate pipes, seal cracks in walls where cold drafts enter, maintain indoor temperatures a bit higher, and keep a keen eye on possible problem areas as the temperatures drop. One trick many people use is to turn on the water in a sink or shower to keep a slow trickle running through the pipe. But, the best thing you can do for yourself and family is to understand the need to take immediate action when a pipe does freeze and burst.