Every winter rug and carpet cleaners like Woodard cleaning are busy cleaning up houses because of damage from burst pipes that were frozen. What happens is that sometimes the hot water heater breaks down and the temperature in the walls drops to below freezing.
The water in the pipes freezes and expands and then the pipe is broken. When the heater gets fixed, it pumps water through those broken pipes and the result is a flooded house or apartment.
People who didn’t winter-proof their homes are particularly susceptible, but it can happen to anybody. In this article, we will go over what to do in case you do have frozen pipes so you can minimize the damage.
1 – Identify if the pipes are frozen
One of the biggest issues with frozen pipes is that it isn’t always apparent that they are damaged. Sometimes it isn’t until the heat comes back on and water starts spraying everywhere that people realize the issue. Unfortunately, the damage is done at this point.
The key is to know if the pipes are actually frozen so you can then take preventative measures. The first step is to make sure that the heat stays off. If the pipes are frozen then you don’t want the heat to thaw them and spray water everywhere. If your water doesn’t run when you turn on a faucet then this is how you know it is frozen.
Another sign is if you see any frost on a certain part of the pipes. Now, you may not have burst pipes yet at this point. It could be the water has only just begun to freeze so look for bulges in the exposed pipes as this means they are broken.
2 – Thaw the pipes
Shut off the water to that area if possible and allow the heat to work for the rest of the house to prevent any further freezing of the pipes. If this isn’t an option because you don’t have separate areas that can be turned off then make sure the water heater is off and that the water is turned off for the entire house.
Have a mop and towels ready and then use a space heater in the affected area very close to the pipes themselves. Do not use an open flame like a blow torch as the risk of fire is too high. If you have a large area or more than one then use some thermostatically controlled heat tape to thaw out the pipes.
3 – Hire a plumber
At this point, you will need a plumber to come in and cut out the burst section of the pipe and replace it with a new piece. You can certainly do this yourself if you feel handy enough. You’ll need a pipe cutter and some joints to attach to the new section. You may have to do this as plumbers may take too long to get to you since they are busy this time of year with many people experiencing burst pipes.