– With the arrival of cold
weather, the number of incidents of water damage as a result of pipes breaking
due to sub-freezing temperatures increases. Paul Davis Restoration, Inc., a
national franchise company and leading provider of fire
and water damage clean up and restoration services for residential and commercial properties, offers the
following advice and tips on how to prevent frozen pipes during this time of
According to Rich Tolton,
Paul Davis Restoration & Plumbing the Tucson, AZ office owner, frozen pipes cause millions
of dollars in damage to homes and buildings each year. "Any time the
temperature drops below 32 degrees, there is the potential risk of pipes
freezing, particularly indoor pipes located in poorly insulated areas such as the
attics, crawl spaces and basements," said Tolton. “Significant water
damage can occur if broken pipes are not caught quickly. This can be a
potential problem, particularly when people are away from their homes during
the winter season,” he said.
Frozen pipes can be prevented
by following a few basic steps. Paul Davis Restoration has developed the
following list of prevention measures used to advise customers during the
- Remove garden hoses from
- Let cold and hot water faucets
drip during freezing weather.
- Cover exposed exterior pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass insulation and
secure with tape.
- If the property will be
vacant for a long period of time, leave the thermostat at the same temperature
both day and night, at least 55°F.
- Cover exterior faucets with
- Locate the main water shut
off valve so you can find it in an emergency.
“Prevention is the key and is
well worth it to avoid water damage due to a broken pipe,” said Toloton.
“Damage from broken pipes typically goes undiscovered for long periods of time
and repairs usually run into the thousands of dollars as a result,” he said.
For property owners that own vacation
homes, rentals or lending institutions that might have several foreclosed
properties, more complete “winterization” services to protect properties may be
required. In general, winterization typically refers to sealing, draining,
wrapping, and adding anti-freeze chemicals to prevent freezing of water, which
ultimately causes breakage of pipes.
In the event of a broken
pipe, it is critical to act quickly. Water from a broken pipe can add up to
thousands of gallons in a very short time. It is likely that by the time the
damage is discovered, entire rooms are flooded and walls are becoming wet. Tolton
recommends the following:
- Shut off the main water valve immediately.- Call a licensed,
professional water damage clean up company.
- Mop up standing water on flooring surfaces, if possible. - If the burst pipe is
overhead, drain ceiling cavities by punching “weep” holes.- Open kitchen and bathroom
cabinet doors to promote warm air circulation.
- Locate the frozen pipe and open a faucet.
“If you do experience water
damage from a frozen pipe, time is truly of the essence. Delaying the start of emergency
clean up and restoration procedures can result in a drastic increase in the
cost and complexity of the water loss,” said Tolton. “Talk to a professional in
the water damage restoration service industry as soon as possible.”
Paul Davis Restoration, Inc. is a national franchisor and
leading provider of restoration services for residential and commercial
properties since 1966. Paul Davis
Restoration & Plumbing in Tucson also provides advanced mold cleanup
services. Owners and technicians are certified by The Clean Trust. For more
information, visit the website at www.pdtucsonaz.com.