Tips to Help Prevent Pipes From Bursting
Are YOU prepared for the polar vortex? Is your HOME winter-ready?
Arctic Air to Bring Dangerous Cold This Week
With the temperatures dipping below zero this month with the incoming polar vortex, if you haven't already done so, it's imperative to take preventative measures now to protect your water pipes from freezing and subsequently bursting.
We all know water expands as it freezes. If the water inside your pipes freezes, it will expand which can cause your pipes or connections to crack and burst. Water pipes can also burst when pressure builds up behind a chunk of ice, which is why it has long been suggested to leave faucets dripping in extremely cold weather. Whatever the situation that causes a burst pipe, you can end up with extensive water damage.
Pro Tip: Know where your water shutoff valve is so that you can turn off the water in case a pipe bursts! Typically it's located in the basement or buried near the road. Knowing where that valve is located can save precious time when you've got water spraying everywhere and causing damage to your home and belongings.
Take a few steps to prepare and avoid a potential catastrophe:
- Look for areas where your water supply lines are exposed, such as under kitchen and bathroom cabinets:
- Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated;
- If you do not have time to insulate them before freezing temps move in, leave the cabinet doors open to let the warmer room temperature to circulate around the exposed pipes.
- Consider installing specific products to insulate exposed water pipes, as each can greatly reduce the likelihood of those pipes freezing and bursting:
- Foam pipe sleeves;
- UL-listed heat tape;
- heat cable or similar materials.
- Protect water pipes that run through unheated areas of your home with insulation; these would be pipes in exposed areas such as your attic, basement, or garage.
- If you haven't already done so:
- Disconnect and store outdoor hoses;
- Drain water from outdoor faucets;
- Cover outdoor faucets with foam insulators;
- Drain sprinkler systems to keep buried pipes from freezing.
Make it an annual chore each fall to take preventative measures by doing regular home maintenance such as draining exterior water lines, or by insulating and protecting exposed pipes. When the frigid temps of winter come, you will rest easier knowing you have taken steps to prevent your pipes from freezing.
Should the unthinkable happen and your water pipes freeze and then burst, know you can count on SERVPRO of Glenview to respond to your call for help with the resulting water loss. Call us 24/7 at 847-832-9300. Whether your winter water damage is a result of a burst pipe, a frozen water dam in your gutters, or a failed appliance, our SERVPRO team of technicians are always Here to Help®.