If you do experience water damage from a frozen pipe, time is truly of the essence. Delaying the start of emergency clean up and restoration procedures can result in a drastic increase in the cost and complexity of the water loss
Jacksonville, FL (Vocus) December 10, 2009
With the arrival of winter, the number of incidents of water damage as a result of pipes breaking due to sub-freezing temperatures increases. Paul Davis Restoration, Inc., a national franchise company and leading provider of fire and water damage clean up and restoration services for residential and commercial properties, offers the following advice and tips on how to prevent frozen pipes during this time of year.
According to J. "Sonny" Bass, Paul Davis Restoration’s Technical Director of Emergency Services, frozen pipes cause millions of dollars in damage to homes and buildings each year. "Any time the temperature drops below 32 degrees, there is the potential risk of pipes freezing, particularly indoor pipes located in poorly insulated areas such as the attics, crawl spaces and basements," said Bass. “Significant water damage can occur if broken pipes are not caught quickly. This can be a potential problem, particularly when people are away from their homes during the winter season.”
Frozen pipes can be prevented by following a few basic steps. Paul Davis Restoration has developed the following list of prevention measures used to advise customers during the winter months.
- Remove garden hoses from faucets.
- Let cold and hot water faucets drip during freezing weather.
- Cover exposed exterior pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass insulation and secure with tape.
- If the property will be vacant for a long period of time, leave the thermostat at the same temperature both day and night, at least 55°F.
- Cover exterior faucets with insulation.
- Locate the main water shut off valve so you can find it in an emergency.
“Prevention is the key and is well worth it to avoid water damage due to a broken pipe,” said Bass. “Damage from broken pipes typically goes undiscovered for long periods of time and repairs usually run into the thousands of dollars as a result,” he said.
For property owners that own vacation homes, rentals or lending institutions that might have several foreclosed properties, more complete “winterization” services to protect properties may be required. In general, winterization typically refers to sealing, draining, wrapping, and adding anti-freeze chemicals to prevent freezing of water, which ultimately causes breakage of pipes. Because of the specialized services required for this procedure, Bass recommends that property owners hire a company that specializes in performing winterization services using full-time technicians who are certified by The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
In the event of a broken pipe, it is critical to act quickly. Water from a broken pipe can add up to thousands of gallons in a very short time. It is likely that by the time the damage is discovered, entire rooms are flooded and walls are becoming wet. Bass recommends the following:
- Shut off the main water valve immediately.
- Call a licensed, professional water damage clean up company.
- Mop up standing water on flooring surfaces, if possible.
- If the burst pipe is overhead, drain ceiling cavities by punching “weep” holes.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to promote warm air circulation.
- Locate the frozen pipe and open a faucet.
“If you do experience water damage from a frozen pipe, time is truly of the essence. Delaying the start of emergency clean up and restoration procedures can result in a drastic increase in the cost and complexity of the water loss,” said Bass. “Talk to a professional in the water damage restoration service industry as soon as possible.”
Paul Davis Restoration, Inc. is a leading provider of fire and water damage clean up, restoration, and reconstruction services for residential and commercial properties. The company also provides remodeling services for kitchen and bath remodeling and room additions. Founded in 1966, Paul Davis Restoration has franchise office locations throughout the US. Visit the website at http://www.pdrestoration.com .