Freezing Temperatures Can Cause Bursting Pipes
Bursting pipes are a common problem that occurs during freezing temperatures. When water freezes, it expands and therefore, puts pressure on the pipes. If the pressure becomes too high, the pipes can burst, causing significant water damage to your property. Understanding the science behind why pipes burst during freezing temperatures can help you take preventative measures to avoid this problem.
The Science Behind Bursting Pipes
Water expands when it freezes and can exert pressure of up to 2,000 pounds per square inch on the pipes. This pressure is strong enough to crack the strongest of pipes. The pipes most susceptible to bursting are those that are exposed to the cold, such as outdoor pipes, unheated areas like basements, attics, and crawl spaces, and pipes that run along exterior walls.
How Freezing Temperatures Cause Bursting Pipes
When temperatures drop below freezing, the water in the pipes can freeze, causing the pipes to expand and contract. As the ice expands, it can put pressure on the pipe, causing it to burst. The pressure buildup can cause the pipe to crack or split, leading to water leaks and significant water damage.
How to Prevent Bursting Pipes
Preventing pipes from freezing is the best way to avoid the costly damage that can result from bursting pipes. Here are some tips to help you prevent your pipes from freezing:
- Keep your home heated to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even if you’re leaving for an extended period.
- Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around pipes located under sinks and along exterior walls.
- Seal gaps and cracks in windows and doors to prevent cold air from entering your home.
- Insulate pipes located in unheated areas, such as attics and crawl spaces.
- Allow faucets to drip slightly to relieve pressure in the pipes.
What To Do: Burst Pipes in Winter
When water freezes, it expands, which can cause pipes to burst if there isn’t enough room for the ice to expand within the pipe. Here’s a snippet of what to do if you suspect your pipes have burst due to freezing temperatures:
- Shut off the water supply: If you suspect a pipe has burst, the first thing you should do is turn off the main water supply to your home. This will help prevent further damage and water loss.
- Open the faucets: Once the water supply is shut off, open all the faucets in your home to relieve any remaining pressure in the pipes.
- Locate the burst pipe: Check for signs of water damage or leaks in your home, and try to locate the burst pipe. It may be in the basement, crawl space, or outside your home.
- Call a plumber: Contact a licensed plumber to assess and repair the damage. A burst pipe can cause significant damage, so it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.
- Clean up the water: Use towels or a wet/dry vacuum to clean up any standing water. You may also want to use a dehumidifier or fans to dry out the affected area to prevent mold growth.
Water Damage Prevention: Seek Help from Superior Restoration
Seeking help from a water damage expert after experiencing bursting pipes due to freezing temperatures is important for several reasons:
- Assessment and repair: Water damage experts can assess the extent of the damage caused by the burst pipes and provide recommendations for repair. They have the expertise and tools needed to properly repair the pipes and prevent further damage.
- Mold prevention: Water damage can lead to mold growth, which can be dangerous to your health. Experts can help prevent mold growth by thoroughly drying out affected areas and applying antimicrobial treatments.
- Insurance claims: Water damage experts can assist with filing insurance claims and provide documentation of the damage and repairs needed.
- Safety: Burst pipes can create hazardous conditions in your home, such as electrical hazards or structural damage. Water damage experts can ensure that your home is safe to occupy and that all necessary precautions have been taken.
Overall, seeking help from a water damage expert can help ensure that your home is properly restored and safe to live in after experiencing bursting pipes due to freezing temperatures.
Contact our 24/7 office, Water Damage Corona for any water damage and mold damage issues, today!