With the harsh weather conditions and subzero degree temperatures, we wanted to create a resource for preventing frozen pipes, for thawing pipes that are already frozen and what to do if your frozen pipes burst.
How To Prevent a Pipe Burst
If the area you reside in is prone to freezing temperatures for extensive periods of time, you may have personally experienced or know neighbors in your area who have had frozen pipes-which is not a favorable experience. The time you take to ensure your pipes are well insulated will be invaluable if it prevents a frozen pipe. The problem with a frozen pipe, other than the fact that you will not have running water, is that ice can expand so much that it can burst open a pipe. A broken pipe can subsequently lead to flooding, damaging your property and personal belongings.
While time is still on your side, you should examine your water pipes to make sure they are covered and insulated well. Pipes may run in your crawlspace, attic or basement so be sure to start there. Any exposed metal piping is susceptible to freezing, especially the closer it is to the outdoors. Fiberglass insulation is an excellent option for insulating pipes. Fiberglass insulation comes in different sizes and can be picked up at your local property materials store. Also, keep in mind that having your faucets open just barely allowing a trickle can also greatly minimize pipe freezing as moving water is better than still water.
Here is a video on preventing a frozen pipe:
Here is a video on installing the fiberglass insulation:
How to Thaw your Frozen Pipes
During a freezing snow storm, you may encounter that you no longer have running water from your faucets. This would be a strong indicator that somewhere along the water piping is now froze. If you catch the frozen pipe early enough, you have a great chance of preventing a frozen water pipe burst-so act quick!
For starting, you should open the closest faucet to alleviate pressure and to indicate when the water is running again. Next, you can wrap the frozen pipe in a towel, fastened down by duct tape. Then you can pour boiling hot water on the towel, repeating this cycle until the ice is thawed in the pipe. You could also use a heating blanket on the pipe or direct a heating lamp or hair dryer on the frozen pipe.
Here is a video on how to Thaw a Frozen Pipe:
How to Repair a Frozen Pipe Burst
The snow storm has passed, the temperature is rising again but now a new problem has presented itself. You come to find soaked carpet or water dripping from the ceiling. If you were unable to thaw the frozen pipe in time, the ice expanded just enough to burst open the pipe and now the thawed ice is leaking through the pipe puncture. Once more the faster you react, the more property damage you can prevent.
As soon as you pinpoint the exact location of the pipe puncture, you would want to turn off all water values. Now that you know the damage spot you can put a rubber-lined sleeve clamp on it. If you do not have access to one, you can use a piece of rubber or hose to wrap around the damaged pipe, fastening it with duct tape. Now that you’ve managed to put a bandaid over the gash, you will want to hire expert help in replacing the damaged pipe and restoring your property back to normal.
Depending on how long the water was leaking from the hole, you may have extensive damage to your property, such as: soaked/falling drywall on your ceiling and walls, your carpet delimitating, your carpet pad soaked, your hardwood floor warping, your painting bubbling, etc. If the affected areas sustain moisture and water for a long period of time, you now open your property up to mold. As evident, it is important to make sure a certified, experienced mitigation and restoration company do the drying of the water and the restoration of the damaged property.
NuBilt has been serving the Greater Denver Area for over 16 years and repaired thousands of water damaged properties. NuBilt is an IICRC and RIA certified firm and also well-versed in the insurance realm. NuBilt strives for excellent customer satisfaction and reviews so you can expect great service and compassion with your belongings. The NuBilt emergency crews are ready 24 hours a day so call immediately when you experience any property damage.