Severe winter weather ranks third as a cause of insured catastrophe losses, after hurricanes and tornadoes, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Losses from snow, ice, and freezing temperatures across the United States average about $1.2 billion a year, according to the New York Times.
Have a water damage as a result of pipes freezing? Call Us Today – (914) 358-9000
Preparing your home for cold weather can help avoid potentially costly problems, like frozen pipes. When water freezes it expands. That’s why a can of soda explodes if you put it into a freezer to chill quickly and forget it. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way. If the water expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes, and major damage can begin.
Take preventative action:
- Insulate pipes, especially those close to outside walls, attics or crawl spaces where the chance of freezing is greatest
- Seal air leaks surrounding or near pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage
- Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing
- Keep heat at 55 degrees F. or higher even when you are out of town
- During a cold spell turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night
- If you need to be away from home, leave the heat on and drain your water system before you go
- Identify the locations of shutoff valves so that you are prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts
To thaw frozen pipes:
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water will help melt the ice inside.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe like using an electric heating pad or hairdryer. Never use an open flame.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes.
***If in doubt about any of the above steps or if you do not feel comfortable with the situation, it is always best to contact a licensed plumber.
In the event you incur frozen pipe damage, SERVPRO of Tarrytown/Elmsford's trained technicians are available 24/7 to assist with your cleanup and restoration needs, call (914)358-9000!