How to Handle Burst Frozen Pipes

In cold and even moderate climates, water pipes can freeze and burst when temperatures reach certain thresholds. And it is not just exterior pipes such as water sprinkler or swimming pool lines that are susceptible to freezing; any water supply line that is located in an unheated space or that is poorly insulated can freeze. Similarly, interior pipes that run adjacent to exterior walls are also subject to freezing. The ice blockage that occurs when a pipe freezes results in an increase in water pressure further along in the pipe. It is this build-up of pressure that eventually results in the unfortunate situation of a burst pipe. 

Frozen Pipes Damages

The damage caused from a burst pipe can be significant, and cause the home or property owner thousands of dollars in repair. The area where a pipe bursts can flood with water, which results in both structural and property damage. If a pipe bursts in a basement, which statistics indicate is 37% of all frozen pipe failures, you may experience flooding, damage to flooring, carpeting, furniture, and walls. A burst pipe situation needs to be addressed immediately, to minimize the damage and reduce the risk from further damage as well as from a mold and mildew infestation.

Homeowners and businesses alike can take proactive steps to lessen the potential for pipes to freeze.

  • Check the areas where water pipes are located for cracks and openings that would allow cold air to enter, and thoroughly seal or caulk the openings.
  • Unprotected pipes or pipes in poorly insulated areas can be fully covered with specialty insulation sleeves or electric heating cables.

If you are going to be away for an extended period of time or if you are expecting an especially cold spell overnight or over a weekend, maintain inside heat at a level that will continue to keep interior pipes from freezing, open spigots so that water drips from those pipes located in vulnerable areas, or drain the water system entirely.

Call us immediately if your pipes freeze and burst or you experience other flooding and damage from pipes that leak as temperatures rise. We provide 24-hour service from Pennsylvania to the Baltimore and Washington, DC, areas, to Virginia and North Carolina, and are available to get started on your water damage cleanup in 60 minutes or less.