If you live in the Baltimore, Maryland area, we don’t need to tell you that it has been a very, VERY cold winter thus far. And while the cold weather has been a real inconvenience (Just look at that BGE bill. Yikes!), it is nothing compared to the inconvenience of a burst pipe. When the temperature drops below freezing, the water pipes in unconditioned spaces, such as the attic, unfinished basement, or crawl spaces, can freeze and burst, flooding your home and causing thousands of dollars’ worth of water damage.
According to the Insurance Information Network of California (IINC), burst pipes rank just behind hurricanes for total number of insurance claims and total number of homes damaged each year.
Why Do Pipes Burst?
Surprisingly, frozen pipes do not burst because of ice expanding in place. Instead, these pipes burst due to pressure building inside the pipes. As water freezes, it pushes water and ice towards the closed faucet, which causes an immense amount of pressure to start to build. Eventually, the pipe ruptures under the pressure. This typically happens in an area with little or no ice.
How Do I Prevent Frozen Pipes and Water Damage?
The easiest way to prevent pipes from bursting is to better insulate unconditioned areas. If these areas stay above freezing, your pipes should be safe. Of course, there are additional precautions you can take as well, including:
- Insulate your pipes.
- Open faucets and allow them to drip a little.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature both day and night.
- Leave the cabinets open under your sink to allow conditioned air to reach this space.
- Seal air leaks around windows and doors, as well as around your foundation. These air leaks can be the tipping point between your pipes freezing or lasting through the winter.
What Do I Do When a Pipe Bursts?
For starters, shut off the source of the water to prevent additional damage. Next, take pictures and contact your insurance company to file a claim. Then, pick up the phone and call your local Baltimore water damage restoration company: ServiceMaster of Baltimore. We have certified licensed restoration technicians on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Water damage doesn’t work on a 9-5 schedule, so why should your water damage company? Click Here to request an estimate today!
Call 866-780 1700 for Emergency Restoration!
You should also contact a local plumber to replace the damaged pipe.
Hopefully you have found our blog, “How to Prevent Frozen Pipes and Water Damage” informative and helpful. Continue to check back weekly for more helpful tips.