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Avoid Frozen Pipes - Avoid a Costly Mess

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

If you take the time to prepare your house ahead of time -paying special attention to your pipes - you might not have to worry about frozen or burst pipes this winter season!

pipe with split and surrounding water-damaged woodwork

Cold weather can take its toll on your house in many ways – and your pipes are no exception. While ice dams, excess ground water and winter storms can cause damages inside and outside your home, prolonged low temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit can cause excessive water damage due to pipes freezing and bursting inside your home. Those most vulnerable are pipes located in outside walls, attics, crawl spaces, garages and basements, or anywhere that air temperature is not regulated.

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, frozen pipes are one of the biggest risks of property damage in the winter months when temperatures drop (especially below 30 degrees for more than 24 hours), and 37% of all pipe failures occur in a basement. However, if these simple steps are taken, the likelihood of your pipes bursting drops dramatically:

  • Turn off exterior faucets.

  • Wrap/insulate pipes – especially those exposed in unheated areas such as attics, basements, garages and crawl spaces, and also insulate at the point pipes lead outside.

  • If temperature outside dips below freezing for several days, keep at-risk faucets (on outside walls) open and allow water to drip.

  • When leaving on vacation never leave the thermostat lower than 55. Make sure you open cabinets under sinks to allow warm air to reach them. You may also want to turn off main water valve and drain the system.

If your pipes have ALREADY frozen over:

  • Shut off the main water valve.

  • Open faucets so thawing water can flow freely and relieve pressure (opening a faucet will provide relief from the excessive pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs)

  • Warm the pipes with a space heater or hairdryer, starting closer to the faucet end of the pipe, with the faucet open. Work toward the coldest section.

Failing to prepare can mean messy and expensive water damage repair. The average cost for water damage restoration after a burst pipe is $5,000, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, but it could be higher, depending on the scope of damage. Of course, Dry Master Restorations is always available, 24/7/365, in case something does go wrong, and you need a water damage company. We are here to help…. Anytime.

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