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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Frozen Pipes: A Winter Water Damage Emergency

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Frozen Pipes: A Winter Water Damage Emergency Low temperatures cause seasonal Long Island property disasters including frozen pipes, ice dams and other frozen water damage concerns.

We can’t control the weather frigid winter temperatures are here in the Northeast, the lower temperatures cause a new set of seasonal Long Island property disasters including frozen pipes, ice dams and other frozen water damage concerns.

Every winter our SERVPRO of Medford professionals help countless home and business owners in Medford, Holbrook, Patchogue or Coram with the restoration, cleanup and repair of their property following a frozen water property disaster.

Why is a Frozen Pipe a Concern?

  • When water begins to freeze, it expands. This can cause both plastic and metal pipes to burst, possibly leading to significant water damage to your home or business.
  • Since water expands when it freezes, it puts unwanted pressure on pipes.
  • As water freezes, the force exerted from the expansion can cause a pipe to burst, regardless of the strength of the material.
  • You may not know you have a burst pipe as the water has turned to ice. Once the temperature starts to warm and thawing begins, leaking and flooding can occur.

TYPES OF WATER DAMAGE FROM A FROZEN PIPE OR OTHER FROZEN WATER DAMAGE

Long Island pipes are typically protected in insulated spaces reducing the risk of freezing, however pipes that run through exterior walls or those that run through uninsulated or under-insulated spaces can freeze. A Frozen water property damage event including a frozen pipe burst is especially likely during days and weeks of extended subfreezing weather, or when pipes are in high risk locations for example in cold areas caused by poor insulation, cracks in the walls or foundation, or around entry points commonly found in basements and crawlspaces. Frozen water pipes and the damage they can cause are a reality for thousands of Long Island home and business owners each year. 

Frozen pipes can often lead to water damage from leaking water or flooding. Water damage can be very intrusive it can cause obvious surface damage but can easily penetrate all the porous materials in your home or business and additionally cause structural damage and mold growth. When moisture meets your property the initial water damage to your home or business and the contents are considered primary issues, with prompt mitigation and repairs by our SERVPRO of Medford teams, almost all primary issues from water and flood damage can be reversed, avoiding the need for additional costly restoration. However, any continued damage due to rising humidity and prolonged exposure to water or water-soaked materials is considered secondary damage. Water damage that sits for just 24 hours will begin to carry a higher risk of permanently damaging your property, flood and other water damage that goes untreated for longer will almost always result in serious and lasting damage.

FROZEN PIPE WATER DAMAGE TREATMENT AND RESTORATION

The key to avoiding costly secondary damage is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property with proper mitigation. Our SERVPRO of Medford teams have the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. We begin removing the standing water from your property with extraction methods, and rapidly dry your structure and contents with dehumidifiers that lower the indoor humidity levels, so your building dries out quickly. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO of Medford professionals will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment.

FROZEN PIPE PREVENTION

Short- and Long-term solutions for low temperature plumbing problems include:

  • Locate and seal cracks and openings in the walls, attic, basement or crawlspace.
  • Weather strip and caulk around crawlspace doors and basement windows.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated. Pay special attention to areas where pipes are located.
  • Insulate unprotected pipes and don't leave gaps. Pipe sleeves simplify the process. Keep the pieces tight against each other and seal the slits and joints with duct tape.
  • Install storm windows over basement windows or replace the old windows with energy-efficient alternatives.
  • Find your main water shutoff so you can turn off the water quickly if needed. Locations vary — look in the crawlspace or basement where the water supply enters the house, inside a water meter box directly outside the house or near the water heater.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to let warm air flow around the supply lines. Move any cleaners or other chemicals out of the reach of children.
  • Keep your thermostat at the daytime setting during the night. If you'll be away for several days during subfreezing weather, keep it set above 55° F.

What Do You Do if You Have a Frozen Pipe?

  • If you have a leak or flood, turn the water off immediately to prevent further water damage and call a licensed plumber to make repairs. 

HOW SERVPRO CAN HELP RESTORE YOUR FLOOD AND WATER DAMAGE FOLLOWING A PIPE BURST

When winter temperatures drop below freezing, the water flowing freely in pipes throughout your home or business have the potential to freeze. When your pipes burst from freezing water, getting the water out fast is our highest priority. Our SERVPRO of Medford team comes ready with all the necessary equipment to get it done quickly because we want to prevent it from causing further damage to your property. We have years of experience in dealing with Long Island residential and commercial water damage, and we know what it takes to restore your Medford, Patchogue, Holbrook or Farmingville property, "Like it never even happened."

If you have water damage to your home or business give us a call, we are always here to help!

SERVPRO of Medford (631) 732-4952

Link: News 12 – Recommendations on how your Long Island property can survive winter.

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