Homeowners: Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Below-Freezing Weather
Frozen pipes can wreak havoc.
As the weather dips into colder temperatures, it is crucial to protect your home’s water pipes against freezing. Untreated pipes in your basement and crawlspaces can be an expensive and scaryscenario for any homeowner.
Why Frozen Pipes Are a Problem
Water expands as it freezes. This expansion puts extreme pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor water faucets, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold.
In the U.S., frozen pipes cause significant damage every year, but they often can be prevented. Taking a few simple steps, even now, may save you a lot of aggravation and expense.
There are three common causes of frozen pipes:
1. Quick drops in temperature
2. Poor insulation
3. Thermostats set too low
Luckily, there are a number of preventative steps you can take to keep your pipes from freezing:
- Check the insulation of pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing.
- Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). Closely follow all manufacturers’ installation and operation instructions.
- Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
- Use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
- A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature – more common overnight – could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
If Your Pipes Do Freeze ...
- If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
- If your house or basement is flooding, turn off the water valve and call (325)942-0414.
- Do not touch or use electrical appliances in areas of standing water due to electrocution concerns.
- Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Every year, many building fires are caused by people trying to thaw frozen pipes. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.
- You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
- Again, if your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on and call (325)942-0414. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it. Likely places for the water turn-off valve include internal pipes running against exterior walls or where water service enters a home through the foundation.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat set to a temperature no lower than 55°F.
Typical mold on walls and ceiling
San Angelo and Concho Valley residents,
Is MOLD trying to take over your home or business?
Everyone dreads when they look in their basement, under the kitchen sink, or around wet boxes in the garage and see that yellow, green, black, or orange substance. The sinking feeling hits – “I’ve got a mold problem.” While not all mold is bad, some mold can cause health concerns for many people. Any kind of water flooding in your home or business can cause mold to grow --anything from water leaks to varying humidity. The best way to get ahead of Mold is to take precautions. Here are some different signs that your home or business is being over-run by the Mold itself:
-You can visibly see the mold
-Musty odor –indicates mold is present
-Any type of moisture problems that may have -caused mold growth
If you think you have a mold problem, and Mold has taken up residence in your home or business, please call SERVPRO® of San Angelo, (325)942-0414. We are always Here to Help!
San Angelo Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your San Angelo Home.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of San Angelo will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 325-942-0414
Restoring Your Concho Valley Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges
Flooding and water damage events at any Concho Valley commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of San Angelo
SERVPRO of San Angelo specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
For Immediate Service in the Concho Valley, Call SERVPRO
Concho Valley Residents: We provide immediate service day or night!
SERVPRO of San Angelo provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in the Concho Valley. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.
- 24-Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
- Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
- A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment
Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 –
Whether your Big Country home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us. Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Cleaning Services
- Building/Reconstruction Services
There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Concho Valley commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business.
San Angelo Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!
This San Angelo home's basement flooded due to heavy rains.
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your San Angelo basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today - 325-942-0414
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of San Angelo and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 325-942-0414