Frozen Pipes Can Cause Costly Water Damage: Tips to Protect Your Property
Cold Weather Brings Frozen Pipes That Can Burst
The holidays are approaching, and with them comes cold weather and the increased risk of frozen pipes that can burst and cause costly water damage. When hard freezes approach, take precautions to prepare your home or business and protect your property from potential catastrophic water damage.
Weather experts generally describe a hard freeze as any time the temperature is below 20 degrees for more than three hours, which is long enough to freeze many water supply or drain pipes solid. When this happens, the ice in the tubes exerts pressure on the water inside, which does not compress (law of hydraulics). The result can be ruptured pipes that release the water remaining in liquid form into your home or business.
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Before a Hard Freeze …
- Make sure all doors, windows are shut and sealed in outbuildings, garages and other parts of your property where plumbing may be exposed.
- Cover and insulate all exterior faucets.
- Ensure pool, sprinkler system and other exterior pumps are drained and sealed.
- Ensure all exposed plumbing in outbuildings, garages, crawlspaces, attics are insulated.
When a Hard Freeze Is Forecast …
- Do not leave your heater turned off if you will not be home or in your place of business during a hard freeze. Set it lower, but keep the heat on.
- Open cabinets under sinks to enable heated air to circulate and keep plumbing warmer.
- Open interior faucets slightly. Contrary to popular belief, moving water will freeze, so this will not keep pipes from freezing if they are exposed to extreme cold weather. But the open faucet will let water under pressure from any freezing ice to escape, preventing hydraulic rupture.
If You Think a Pipe Is Frozen …
- If you turn on the water in your home or business after a hard freeze, and nothing comes out, chances are a supply pipe is frozen. Trace it and look for areas that are exposed to the cold and not insulated.
- DO NOT attempt to thaw pipes with open flame. Aside from risking fire, doing so can vaporize the water, creating pressure that can result in pipe bursting violently.
- Warm suspected frozen pipes with portable heaters or even hair dryers. If water is standing, be careful of electrical cords.
If a Frozen Pipe Bursts Causing Water Damage …
If you have frozen pipes that burst and cause water damage, Delta Disaster Services® is ready to help and bring you Peace of Mind During Uncertain Times.