The New York City area experiences some of the coldest winter weather in the U.S and there are times when the low temperature can cause problems in homes. The pipes in a plumbing system are usually in areas that are vulnerable to cold temperatures like basements, crawlspaces, and between walls and if the temperature drops below freezing, the water in the pipes will freeze. Ice in the pipes is dangerous because it can cause the pipes and fixtures like indoor sprinkler heads to burst and leak water. ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete can clean and restore homes and buildings damaged by a burst pipe or broken sprinkler head in Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY. We use state-of-the-art water damage restoration equipment to clean up major leaks and get the affected areas back to their original condition.
Frozen Pipes and Sprinklers
The areas of your home or building that are poorly heated during the winter are often the areas that have the most pipes running through them. When the temperature drops below freezing, the water in the pipes is much more likely to freeze and the ice that forms within the pipes will expand until it puts enough pressure on the pipe to burst. The same can happen to indoor sprinkler heads if the water is frozen within the head or the pipe leading up to the head. A pipe burst can allow as much as hundreds of gallons of water into your home or building which can quickly cause major water damage.
You must react immediately to a busted pipe or sprinkler head by shutting off the main water supply to stop the leak. Once the water is off, contact us to clean up the water before it spreads any further. Our technicians are highly trained water damage restoration experts and we use advanced water extraction and drying equipment to ensure that the affected areas are completely dry. We will also clean and restore the damaged area so it can be used again safely.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
The mess caused by a burst pipe is a nightmare, especially in the middle of winter, which makes preventing frozen pipes your best option. Performing the following actions can help you prevent your pipes from freezing:
- Turn on your water so there is a light trickle at each faucet. Make sure the cold and hot water valves are on. Keeping the water moving reduces the risk of the water freezing in the pipes.
- Keep the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sink warm by opening the base cabinets. You may also put a space heater nearby to keep them warm.
- Install pipe insulation or electrical heating tape on the pipes to keep them warm.
- Keep uninsulated areas like attics and basements warm with a space heater.
- Never leave hoses outside. Bring them in for the winter and shut off the outside water supply.
How to Locate Frozen Pipes
Pipes will always freeze before they burst so if you react quick enough to frozen pipes, you can thaw them out and avoid the problem. If the water pressure is low, a frozen pipe may be the cause. Try to locate the frozen pipe by following these steps:
- Check the water pressure of each faucet to figure out which supply line has a frozen pipe.
- Keep one faucet in the supply line on.
- Inspect the supply line starting from the faucet and follow it through the uninsulated areas of your home.
- Look for frost or ice on the pipes as well as bulges or fissures.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
If you do find a frozen pipe in the supply line, you must immediately thaw it to prevent a pipe burst. The most effective thawing method If you can access the pipe directly is to use a hair dryer or heat lamp. First, turn on a faucet connected to the line with the frozen pipe so the water can drain. Start warming the frozen pipe with the hair dryer or heat lamp and continue warming the pipe line as you move back towards the faucet. You should never use a flame torch to thaw the pipe because any mistake can lead to a fire. Pipes behind walls must be thawed out with one of these methods:
- Turn the heat up in the home or building to see if that thaws the pipe.
- Use an infrared heat lamp on the spot of the wall near the pipe. The heat from these lamps does not get absorbed into the air and can be applied directly to the pipe.
- Remove the section of ceiling or drywall to access the pipe directly and thaw it with a hair dryer.
When the temperature drops below freezing in the New York City area, you must be on the lookout for frozen pipes or sprinkler heads so you can take care of the problem before it leads to a pipe burst. The amount of water that spills out of a busted pipe or sprinkler head can cause serious water damage. Make sure you call ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete as soon as possible after you experience a burst pipe. We are available 24 hours a day at (781) 984-6660 to respond to pipe bursts in Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY.