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The residents of Essex County New Jersey are no strangers to the freezing temperatures in the winter, and when the temperature drops, it can cause some issues in your home.  The most common problem associated with freezing temperatures is burst pipes and fixtures which happens when the water inside the pipe or fixture freezes.  Pipes that are located in uninsulated areas of your home are especially vulnerable to bursts, as well as small fixtures like fire sprinkler heads, and it can cause a lot of water to leak into your home in a short period of time.  ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete provides restoration services to help those in Newark, NJ and the surrounding areas of Essex County who have experienced a burst pipe or sprinkler head in their home or business.  We can remove the water that leaked into your home or building and restore the resulting damage.

Frozen Pipes and Sprinkler Heads

Frozen Pipes and Sprinkler Heads – Newark, NJ and Essex CountyIt is common for some of the pipes in a plumbing system to be located in uninsulated areas such as attics, basements, and wall cavities, which makes them vulnerable to freezing in cold weather.  When the water within a pipe freezes, the ice starts to expand against the walls of the pipe which will burst under too much pressure.  Ice within a sprinkler head will also continue to expand until it bursts the fixture or connecting pipe.  Hundreds of gallons of water can spill into your home or building within just a few hours of the burst, making it very important to act fast.

The first thing you should do when a pipe or sprinkler head in your home bursts is shut off the water at the emergency shut off valve.  Once the water is shut off, call our experts to deal with the issue.  We use advanced water extraction equipment and techniques to completely remove the water that has spilled into your home, and our dehumidification process will ensure that the affected furnishings and building materials are thoroughly dried.  Our technicians will also thoroughly clean and restore the area to prevent mold growth.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes can cause serious damage in your home which is why you should be proactive and take the following steps to prevent your pipes from freezing:

  • Turn on the hot and cold-water valves slightly at each faucet so there is some moving water through the system. The water is less likely to freeze in the pipes if it is moving.
  • Keep the cabinets under your kitchen and bathroom sink open so that the pipes are exposed to the warm air from your heat. A space heater can also help keep the pipes under your sinks warm.
  • Use pipe insulation or electric heating tape to cover the pipes in uninsulated areas.
  • Put a space heater near pipes in uninsulated areas.
  • Shut off the outside water supply for the winter and bring in your garden hoses.

Finding Frozen Pipes

If the water within a pipe has become frozen, you have limited time to find and thaw that pipe before it bursts.  However, finding the pipe in your plumbing system can be a challenge.  The following tips will help you quickly locate a frozen pipe:

  • Turn on the faucets in your home to test the water pressure. The frozen pipe is usually in the supply line of faucets with low water pressure.
  • Keep the faucet of the affected supply line running once you find it.
  • Check the pipes for bulges or fissures, as well as frost or ice on the outside.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

Once you find the frozen pipe, you must begin thawing it immediately to prevent a burst.  Exposed pipes that can be accessed directly are the easiest to thaw.  Make sure the water is still running through the supply line and use a hair dryer or heat lamp on the frozen spot.  As the frozen area starts to heat up, move towards the faucet while continuing to heat the pipes of the supply line to ensure that the melted ice has somewhere to escape.  If the frozen pipe is in an area that you cannot access directly, the following tips can help you thaw it:

  • Try turning up the heat to warm up the inaccessible area.
  • Use an infrared heat lamp to heat up the wall that is in front of the frozen pipe. Infrared heat can pass directly through the air and drywall to heat the pipe directly.
  • Remove the drywall or ceiling around the pipe to thaw it directly with the process described above.

A burst pipe or sprinkler head in your home or building can lead to very serious damage which is why it is important to take preventive action in the winter.  If a pipe burst does occur, you need to shut off the water immediately and call ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete to remove the water and restore the damage.  You can call us any time 24 hours a day at (732) 840-3570 to respond to your burst pipe emergencies in Newark, NJ and the surrounding areas of Essex County.

We service Newark, West Orange, Bloomfield, Montclair, East Orange, Bellville, Irvington, Livingston, North and West Caldwell, Nutley, and Northfield in Essex County New Jersey.

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