Prevent Water Damage from Freezing Pipes
As winter bears down on Fort Worth, we're going to address some tips on how to deal with the risk of frozen water pipes. The water damage experts here at SERVPRO of Lake Worth / Benbrook have many years of experience in dealing with pipes which freeze, whether those pipes are in a wall, in the attic, in the garage or in your crawl space. Every year, usually right after our first hard freeze, our customers in Fort Worth, Azle, Lake Worth, Benbrook and surrounding areas confront pipes which have frozen and burst.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; this applies to frozen pipes about as well as any situation where that saying might be used. Here are some of our best ideas for preventing this type of damage:
Before winter gets here in force:
- Find the shut off valves for exterior water sources like hose hookups and outside faucets. Close these valves and open the faucets to drain any residual water. Be sure to leave the faucets open all winter.
- Review insulation options for any plumbing in crawlspaces, attics or which is generally exposed to extreme cold
- Keep your home heated above 50 degrees, even if you won't be home for extended periods.
- For faucets inside the home which may have plumbing in exterior walls of the home, leave the faucet on enough to allow a slight drip out of the faucet.
- Leave cabinet doors open if there is plumbing in the cabinet - this will permit the warm air to circulate more evenly across the pipes.
- Keep your garage door closed as much as possible
At this point, you may be asking yourself why you would go through all of that - what's the big deal if my pipes freeze? Well, frozen water isn't really the big deal - it's the stress the frozen water puts on the plumbing. As we all learn early in life, water expands when it freezes. This expansion is what causes the pipes to fail, whether it's a tiny pinhole or a 3 inch long split of a pipe. Then, once the frozen water melts, the water rushes into your home via the breached pipe. Under normal household pressures, a half inch diameter pipe might allow as much as 50 gallons of water to pour into your home every minute.
If all of the preventative steps weren't enough, and your pipes have frozen and are now leaking into the home, turn off the water to the home immediately at the main shut off. Then call the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Lake Worth / Benbrook to assist you with the clean up process.