How To Avoid, Fix Frozen Pipes This Winter
At Professional Restoration, we’ve been helping Front Range families and Denver businesses recover from frozen pipes and water damage for nearly three decades.
A frozen pipe that ruptures and floods your basement is a big and costly mess to clean. But don’t despair. We have some tips to help you manage the process, reduce cleanup costs, and reduce the risk of ruptures in the future.
Over the years, we’ve learned a lot, and we hope to share some of this knowledge to help our neighbors avoid costly water damage.
Start by Reducing the Risk of Frozen Pipes
Prevention efforts will ensure that your property is as protected as possible. If you want to protect your pipes from getting frozen, here are some simple tips:
- Consider replacing sump pumps in operation for more than 10 years
- Ensure proper sump pump operation on an annual basis
- Insulate exposed water pipes in crawl spaces
- Never turn heat off when temperatures are forecasted below freezing for extended periods
- Open cabinets under sinks to circulate heated air to plumbing.
For extended periods of subzero temperatures, take these steps to prevent pipes from freezing:
- Keep the heat on, even if your business or home will not be occupied
- Turn on faucets slightly to open valves and enable water to escape in case pipes do freeze; this will reduce the likelihood of a rupture
- Winterize your home or business before the harsh cold weather season arrives. This can be done by covering exterior faucets, insulating exposed water pipes in unheated crawl spaces, attics, basements and outbuildings, and sealing exterior access points
If Your Pipes Freeze…
If you wake up to freezing temperatures and turn on your faucet to find no water coming out, chances are a pipe has frozen.
No reason to panic: just because it’s frozen doesn’t mean it’s ruptured. If your pipes do freeze, consider following these steps:
- Turn off the main water valve. If the pipe bursts, turning off the main will minimize the damage.
- Keep the faucet valve open on the pipe that’s frozen. This will allow the pipe to thaw and water to safely drip out.
- Identify where you have exposed pipes and heat that room. You can use electric heaters, even a blow dryer to thaw frozen pipes, if you can reach them, but make sure to keep electrical cords and appliances clear of standing water.
Extract the Water, Dry It Fast
Once the main water valve is off and the water flow is abated, you’ll need to remove any standing water fast before it erodes away building materials, loosens fasteners, and breeds mold.
In some cases, Shop-Vacs will remove the water effectively. But for more than an inch or so of standing water, you will want to consider calling professionals with truck-mounted high-volume water pumps to get the water out fast.
If you need emergency standing water removal, call Professional Restoration 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for immediate assistance; call 303-922-4001 for help.
Once standing water has been removed, you’ll want to create as much air circulation as possible. You’ll also need to remove all water-soaked items and materials, such as carpets, furniture, and even drywall.
Once dry, ensure that all surfaces are disinfected and treated with fungicide, then rebuild and finish as necessary.
When the Worst Happens…
If a water pipe does freeze, rupture, and flood, keep your cool and think about safety first:
- Keep electrical equipment clear of standing water
- Protect yourself with safety equipment like gloves and protective outerwear available at most hardware stores
- Thoroughly clean tools and yourself after working in floodwaters
- If standing water is contaminated, perhaps from a sewage backup, avoid making contact with the water. You will need professional help to avoid dangerous pathogen exposure
Call Professional Restoration for Flooded Basement Cleanup
We hope that you’ll never need to make the call, but when flood damage is severe, most people won’t have a choice.
The good news is that you get to choose the flood and water mitigation company you work with. And with Professional Restoration, you never have to worry about results. That’s because we guarantee excellence in property damage repair.
The experts at Professional Restoration have the know-how and state-of-the-art equipment you need to get the job done quickly, correct, and on budget.