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Frozen pipes can cause terrible damage should the pipes warm and burst!
The water will go everywhere and potentially with a limitless supply. The damage can be catastrophic and potentially affect the entire property. The water can run forever if no one is there to shut it off. Oftentimes, neighbors are the ones who notice that a house has suffered from a broken pipe. This happens as they notice water running out of the front of the house. Most times water will run out the garage first as that is the lowest point of entry to the property. Water always takes the path of least resistance and the garage is easy way out. This article will help you to eliminate some of the ways that this could potentially happen to you.
What are some of the reasons and ways that pipes freeze?
- The number one cause of frozen pipes is the lack of heat to a property. Insurance companies will not cover you if you can not supply proof that the heat bill has been maintained.
- Setting your heat to low is bound to cause problems in the dead of winter. Vacant properties are the number one sufferer of this. Keep your thermometer set at 65 or higher regardless of occupancy.
- Poor or improper insulation is a huge cause of frozen pipes.
- There is an opening to the property that has gone unnoticed.
- Sometimes it is just that cold and extra steps need to be taken.
See the vent on the roof above the sprinkler system?
What should I look for to prevent cold weather from freezing my pipes?
The picture above shows a vent to the roof in a big commercial property. In this instance the temperature outside went negative and the draft from the vent overpowered the heat system. The heat was maintained at this property for decades and there has never been a problem like this. With the drop ceiling in place no one noticed the large vent and thought to batten the hatches. Under normal conditions these pipes would never have frozen but severe cold changed that. Open windows or holes in exterior walls can cause major freeze damage. Look for anywhere cold air can get in to your home. Check all over for drafts or areas that feel colder.
All this water came from a burst sprinkler system!
What happens if my sprinkler system freezes?
Fire suppression is awesome when you have a fire but terrible without the heat on. The average sprinkler system by design has enough water to flood your entire property. Unless you have a fire you will not want the to happen. The above picture shows what is possible if your thermostat is set too low. You need to keep your heat set at 65 or higher. It is scientifically proven that negative temperatures can cause your property to freeze below 65 degrees. The walls on the exterior are obviously most vulnerable to freezing winds. We recommend keeping cabinets with sinks open so that the warm air inside your home keeps your sinks from freezing. Wrapping your sprinkler system with heater cords is a good way to make sure freezing doesn't occur.
Dropped ceiling tiles are a bad sign that you have a broken pipe in your property
What other signs of frozen pipes are there besides flooding?
if your after doesn't work but you have no flooding then you probably have frozen pipes. If you see condensation sweating on your pipes you might have freezing. If you see drip marks on your ceiling drywall you might have a problem. If you find ice forming on the outside of your home or business you might have a burst pipe. Open your valves and turn the heat higher to help prevent bursting. When ice melts it expands so turning your sinks on gives it a place to expand. You do not want them to thaw with no release because that's when bursting happens.
What should I do if my pipes burst and flood my property?
If you have a pipe burst the main thing is not to panic. Shut off your water as soon as possible and call your insurance provider. You will want a reputable water damage restoration company such as 2nd Chance to come for immediate assistance. If given time to sit mold can and will grow
so the sooner the better to start drying. Take lots of pictures and document everything you can. It can be a huge process but doesn't need to be overwhelming. Hopefully the tips on this page can prevent flooding in the future.