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Protect Your Home From Burst Water Pipes

By Staff | Jan 9, 2018

The past week has been one of the busiest for local plumbers as temperatures have dropped below zero. These arctic temperatures can be a safety and financial hazard for any homeowners or tenants.

One of the biggest threats this time of year is a burst water pipe. Pipes do not burst as a result of ice simply forming. Instead, the pipe will burst due to the expansion in the pipe causing water pressure to increase between the blockage and a faucet. A house is vulnerable anytime temperatures drop below 20 degrees for an extended period of time. Many of the houses in our area are built to withstand temperatures that cold, but as we have seen sustained temperatures below zero, Iowa houses become vulnerable.

The American Red Cross offers the following suggestions of how you can prevent frozen water pipes before the cold temperatures hit:

Drain water from swimming pools and hoses. Do not put antifreeze in any waterlines unless specifically directed to do so.

Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces.

Insulate any water pipes that may be exposed to cold temperatures.

Spencer business, SERVPRO has some tips on how to protect yourself and your family.

Insulate all exposed pipes in your home especially in places where they may be unheated such as the basement, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

Keep your home’s temperature steady throughout both the day and the night. Lowering your house’s temperature, especially at night, can put you at risk for frozen pipes.

In drastically cold temperatures, leave a faucet open at a drip to prevent the build up of water pressure. Running water is also less likely to freeze.

Remove, drain, and store outside hoses, and keep outside valves open.

If you plan to be away from your house for any period of time, leave your heat set at 65 F.

If you suspect that you have a frozen pipe, SERVPRO suggests these tips:

Typically, frozen pipes are found on exterior walls or where you water line enters your home.

While thawing a pipe, make sure your leave the faucet of the suggested pipe open.

Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer, or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use any open flame devices.

Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have any other frozen pipes.

If you have any questions or suspect a burst water pipe, contact your plumber immediately to prevent extensive water damage.