Water Damage from Frozen Pipes - What's Next?
What Not To Do
- Do not pour boiling water or a blow torch on a frozen pipe. The drastic change in temperature can cause the material to burst.
- Do not ignore the problem thinking it will solve itself
Are your pipes frozen?
Low water pressure, smelly drains, burst pipes, or visible frost can be a sign of frozen water pipes. The question remains – if you notice any of these items, what should you do?
Call a Plumber
Plumbers are skilled in remedying the situation of frozen pipes while avoiding further damage. Water damage occurs when pipes freeze and burst, go unnoticed, and then thaw allowing water to flow. Usually, furnaces, boilers, or other heating units failing cause water pipes to freeze.
Too late for a plumber
If it’s too late for a plumber to fix the burst water line before water damage occurs, shut off your water supply and call a professional restoration company. Then, call a plumber to come fix the broken pipe. Water Supply shut offs are usually in utility rooms or closets. Turning off the water supply will limit how much water can flow through the burst pipe. Calling a professional water restoration company can minimize the damage that occurs while they implement correct drying procedures. Call your insurance company to notify them of the water damage and that you have a restoration company on site mitigating the damage.
Tips for Prevention
- Insulate exposed water lines. Home improvement stores have many varieties, ask them for a recommendation
- Get preventative maintenance on your boiler or furnace before Winter.
- Seal drafts around doors and windows. Not only will this allow for a more comfortable atmosphere, but you’ll be able to avoid overworking your heating unit.
- Let water slowly drip from faucets in poorly insulated rooms. A slow drip is far cheaper than experiencing a burst pipe or water damage from a burst pipe. Especially if you are going on a vacation, keeping the water moving via a slow drip will have a lower chance of freezing.
- Keep an eye on water pipes. If you notice a pipe starting to freeze, a warm washcloth, hair dryer, or heating pad may help it thaw.
- Plumbing covered behind walls will be difficult to inspect. If possible, inspect all rooms where plumbing is exposed to see if there are any drafts or materials touching it
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