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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Winter Water Damage

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

Don't Forget About Those Pipes!

Down south, our winter is all over the grid. One day it is warm and humid, the next it’s cold and sleeting. That’s Mississippi for you! But here at SERVPRO, we want to help make sure you take care of your home or business by not forgetting about your pipes in the freezing weather.

The most common winter weather damage is frozen pipes. An average of a quarter of a million American families have one or more rooms in their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter by water pipes freezing and breaking, according to State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. Frozen pipes can burst and cost you devastating water damage and money loss. Here are some helpful tips about your pipes during the winter season.

Prevent Freezing Pipes:

  1. Consider installing specific insulation for pipes
  2. Drain and detach any water hoses from exterior spigots.
  3. Check your basement, crawl space, attic, and garage for any uninsulated pipes. Make sure to keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines located there.
  4. Check under kitchen and bathroom cabinets as well.  Open the cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing. .
  5. Let water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes since this will help prevent them from freezing.
  6. If you will be gone from your home during cold weather, don't allow your thermostat below 55 degrees. 
  7. Make sure you drain water from a water sprinkler system or a swimming pool.  There are typically manufacturing directions on how to do so.

"I Think I Already Have a Frozen Pipe"

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, chances are good that your pipe is frozen.  It will most likely be located near an exterior wall or where your water service comes into your home.

  • Apply heat to the pipe with an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer or a portable space heater (maker sure nothing flammable is close by).  You can also wrap the pipes in towels soaked with warm water.  DO NOT use a blowtorch, kerosene, propane heater, for any other open flame device.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and water begins to melt, it will then begin to flow through the frozen area.  It will also help to melt additional ice in the pipe.
  • If you cannot thaw the pipe, aren't able to locate the frozen area, or you can't get access to it, call a licensed plumber.
  • Be sure to check all other faucets in your home because chances are if you have one frozen pipe, most likely you have others as well.

What to do if your pipes burst:

  1. Do not panic.
  2. Call SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia at (601) 823-1100.
  3. Let us make it “Like it never happened.”

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