Cold weather is upon us in Massachusetts. Now is the time to prepare to avoid water damage from broken pipes. Service Team of Professionals (STOP) Metrowest wants to help you reduce your chances of getting water damage and be there for you in the event you come home to a flooded basement or burst pipe.
Pipes are especially susceptible to damage during cold temperatures because of the water. Water comes in three states -solid, liquid, and gas- and when water freezes and becomes a solid, it expands, putting pressure on the pipes, causing them to burst due to the pressure from the water expanding. Often, the major plumbing is in a basement or other part of the home or building that is not kept as warm as the main living space. This increases the risk for frozen pipes in the winter. Several key tips may help prepare for winter to avoid an unexpected water emergency.
- Keep the garage and exterior doors closed to trap the heat indoors.
- Open interior doors and cabinets to allow warm air to enter every crevice of your home and keep your pipes warm.
- Check and seal your windows and the space under your exterior doors so that heat does not escape.
- Check the exterior home for any openings or cracks that should be sealed before winter.
- Allow your faucets to drip may keep the pipes from freezing.
- It is recommend that you warm the house at 55°F or higher when you are not home. The higher it is, the harder it will be for the pipes to freeze.
Signs of a Frozen Pipe
- Turning on your faucet is the easiest way to know if your pipes are frozen. If nothing or just a trickle comes out, you probably have a frozen pipe.
- Another way to tell if you have a frozen pipe is through smell. When a pipe is blocked, a weird smell with seep out through your drainage and faucets. If you smell something near a drainage or faucet you’ve never smelled before, your pipes may be frozen.
Thawing Out the Pipe
The best course of action would be to call a plumber. They know how to locate the frozen pipes and will have the tools to thaw them quickly. However, here are a few tips you can use to try and thaw them out yourself.
- Run the faucet while working on the pipe. Running the faucet not only indicates when the pipe is thawed, it also helps thaw the pipes.
- Once you’ve found the pipe and the section that is frozen, you can use simple household items to thaw out the pipes. Hair dryers, heating pads, and even cloth dipped in hot water can thaw out the pipes. However, you should NEVER use flame devices or gasses to thaw the pipes.
- When the faucet runs fully, it means the pipe is thawed out. Keep it at a stream for a few minutes and then at a trickle to ensure that pipe doesn’t freeze again. Also, this is the best time to check other faucets for frozen pipes and keep them at a trickle.
- Once the water is running again, look at the pipes in the basement to make sure you don’t have a crack in the pipe causing a water leak or a gushing burst pipe.
Water Damage Restoration
Has one of your pipes burst resulting in a flood in your home or workplace? This is a common occurrence in the winter and professionals like STOP Metrowest are trained in water damage clean up and will remove water damaged items from your home and clean the affected area. If the water damage becomes an insurance claim, STOP will provide the documentation and photos required to support your insurance claim.
STOP Metrowest is an IICRC Certified Firm – safe, quality, and compassionate service is our priority! We provide rapid water damage extraction and drying in Framingham MA and other Metrowest MA communities like Sudbury MA, Holliston MA, and Westborough MA. Call STOP MetroWest at 508-841-3082..
For more information, visit our web page at STOP Metrowest.