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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Frozen Pipes Can Lead to Serious Water Damage

1/9/2022 (Permalink)

Did you know that water pipes bursting due to freezing temperatures is the leading cause for water damages in the winter months. The cold temperatures are back in the Upstate and with freezing weather comes the chance of frozen pipes. According to State Farm, "even a tiny crack in a pipe can spew hundreds of gallons of water causing flooding, damage to your furnace and serious structural damage. It also presents an immediate potential for mold."

There are three different leading causes of frozen pipes; quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats being set too low. State Farm also has a few really helpful tips that could prevent your home or business from suffering water damage from frozen pipes this winter. Prepare by taking these steps before it gets too cold outside. 

  • Insulate pipes. Pipe insulation in your home's crawl spaces and attic helps even if you live in an area where freezing is uncommon. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. 
  • Use heat tape or heat cables. Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). 
  • Seal leaks. Locate and seal leaks that allow cold air inside. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out.
  • Secure outdoor hoses, valves and faucets. Before winter hits, disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
  • Let water drip. A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight when temperatures are cold, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Adjust the thermostat. Keeping your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night also reduces the risk of frozen pipes. During extreme cold, this also helps reduce the strain on the furnace.
  • Open cabinet doors. This allows heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

If your pipes do freeze and burst this winter, and you suffer water damages you can call us anytime at SERVPRO of West Greenville County at (864)-292-8570. 

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