Winter Is Coming
Colorado is having a late start to winter in 2014, with temperatures finally dropping below freezing the week of November 10th, and with Colorado winters come frozen pipes, roof ice dams, and snow filled window wells. Every homeowner should take the basic steps to winterize their properties before the cold snaps hit, but most winter water intrusions are caused by failures that are outside of preventive maintenance and are products of our temperate climate.
Extreme temperature changes can cause house plumbing to burst, pipes running along exterior walls are especially susceptible to this as the rapid freezing and unfreezing under pressure causes the pipe to burst. Insulation can become displaced over time, exposing cold pipes to warm airflow or vice versa, another common cause for exploding pipes. A hairline fracture in a pressurized water pipe can put out 250 gallons of water a day! Luckily here in Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities monitors water usage in some areas and can turn off a customer’s water when they suspect a water loss is occurring. Vacant properties are especially vulnerable to freezing pipes, we’ve seen tens of thousands of dollars of damage caused by 2 dead AA batteries in a thermostat.
The freezing of the pipes create an empty space, it’s the increased water pressure between the frozen end and the faucet that causes the pipe to burst which is why it’s recommended letting faucets drip during extreme weather conditions. Most homeowners won’t know there’s an issue with their plumbing or insulation until the pipe has broken and water damage has occurred inside the home, but the preventative maintenance of detaching outside hoses, clearing watering systems with air pressure, and the aforementioned faucet drip can prevent a pipe burst.
What To Do In Case Of Broken Frozen Pipes
The first step is to turn off your water. 99% of the time, a broken pipe is inside the walls of your home, and unless you have complete knowledge of your home plumbing, the quickest way to stop the water flow is to turn off your main water shutoff. Most of the time, these breaks happen when you’re not at home, but when pipes do explode they usually rattle the plumbing system and make a large ‘pop’ noise when the pressure is released through the break. The next sound of course, is running water inside the walls, so if you suspect you heard your pipes break, immediately turn off your water.
Secondly, it’s time to call a plumber. We recommend Mr Rooter of Colorado Springs ((719)576-1991). If you ask most plumbers, they’ll tell you the main problem with frozen pipes is identifying exactly where the leak is, and finding out how many there are in total. Usually frozen pipes break in two places, and after they’ve torn out and fixed the first leak, the water will be turned on to find the second.
Third, depending on the amount of water in your home, it’s time for extraction and drying. If you caught the leak as it happened, the damage could be minimal, but even small amounts of water damage are worth tracking down and drying in case of potential mold or microbial growth inside the walls of your home. If the leak ran for any amount of time, full service water extraction and drying is necessary to mitigate the loss. Water damage to all home elements should be remediated as soon as possible as the long term damage from water can be extremely damaging to the home and exponentially more expensive as time goes on.
Rainbow International of Colorado Springs Specializes in Water Mitigation
Water intrusion is a common occurrence in Colorado Springs, and our company has handled over 100 water mitigation jobs in the past 18 months. We practice proven techniques for structural drying and work directly with insurance companies such as Liberty Mutual, All State, and USAA to maximize our dry time while minimizing costs and damages. Our technicians are IICRC Certified in Water Restoration & Mitigation and have hundreds of hours of in the field experience here in Colorado Springs.
Rainbow International of Colorado Springs can extract the water from your home, remove any damaged materials, dry and repack any damaged contents, and dry your home to bring it back to pre-loss conditions. We offer Free Estimates and 24 Hour Emergency Service. From water in your basement, a water leak from an appliance, ground water seepage, and of course frozen pipes, if you have a water intrusion in your home, call us today to schedule an appointment! (719) 573-7331