Prevent Frozen Pipes and Water Damage
Winter storms can cause significant damage for homeowners. Although weather forecasting has improved over the years, the intensity of a winter storm can be difficult to predict.
Storms this time of year are the third largest cause of catastrophe losses, behind only hurricanes and tornadoes. In these hazardous conditions homeowners can have problems with frozen pipes.
When pipes burst because they froze or snow accumulation leads to significant water intrusion, your home and contents can suffer significant damage. Even if you live in an area where your home is frequently subjected to sub-zero temperatures and your plumbing system is designed to handle the cold temperatures, loss of power or heat can lead to frozen pipes and catastrophic damage. If you are located in a region that is prone to freezing temperatures taking steps to prevent frozen pipes and other leaks can reduce the risk of property damage.
Cold Weather Homeowners Tips
Thousands of families have one or more rooms in their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter by water pipes freezing and bursting. When the outside temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, water pipes in homes with little or no insulation are likely to freeze and break.
A one-eighth inch crack in a pipe can spew out more than 250 gallons of water a day, causing serious water damage to your home, destroying floors, furniture, appliances and personal items. According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, claim payments by all insurance companies over the past decade for these kinds of losses have exceeded $4 billion. If you’re leaving for a trip or are concerned about a coming cold snap, there’s plenty you can do.
- Frozen water pipes represent the biggest potential problem for most homes. A little advance planning will usually prevent frozen pipes.
- Insulate pipes, especially those leading to the outside, and plug holes around the pipes with insulation or spray-in foam. Make sure there is warm air flowing around pipes that are located near an outside wall. Check pipes under sinks to make sure they will get adequate heat.
- Set the heat in the home warm enough to avoid problems. At night, the heating system needs to circulate water through radiator and baseboard heating units to avoid freezing.
- Make sure there is clear access to the main water shut-off valve in case there is a leak or a pipe suddenly bursts.
- Open the water faucets in your sinks enough to allow a slow trickle of water to maintain the flow of water in the lines and help prevent freezing. Make sure your sink drains are open.
- Shut off the water supply during periods when the home may be unoccupied, particularly when colder weather is expected.
Water Damage Cleanup
Minnesota homeowners, property managers, building owners, and churches suffering the effects of frozen pipes, cleaning needs to be done quickly to avoid further damage. The temperature and weather conditions may not be ideal for a cleanup, but it is imperative that you act quickly to avoid mold growth. Mold formation is the greatest setback most people face when dealing with water damage. Molding due to water damage can spoil possessions and can cause health problems. Some health problems triggered by exposure to mold include allergic reactions such as asthma, non-allergic reactions such as headaches, as well as lung and breathing infections.
If the water damage is minimal, you may be able to do the clean up yourself. The amount of cleanup you can do by yourself will depend on the extent of the water damage. Otherwise contact a Minnesota water damage restoration company. They will have the proper state-of-the-art equipment to clean up any water damage, such as Fans, Dehumidifiers, Air Scrubbers, Ozone Machines, Desiccants that can save most valuables.