Dealing with Winter Damage

15/02/16 2:28 PM

Unseasonably warm temperatures cclassic plumbing damagean be a blessing and a curse for your home’s plumbing system. Imagine you awake to plan your day, rejoicing in the idea of wearing a lighter coat because the weatherman predicted temps above freezing.

Now imagine you pop to your basement to find the carpet sitting under an inch of cold water. You can hear water moving but, for the life of you, have no idea where it’s coming from. You just know it won’t stop until you do something about this problem. Suddenly, your mind races as you try to think of how to take care of the kids and how you’ll take care of work because water damage is expensive.

Take a deep breath and relax. It’s a fact of life that pipes can freeze in winter. Liquids will expand as they change into a solid, pushing at the sides of the container. If you’ve ever forgotten a bottle of wine in the freezer, you’ll discover that instead of chilling your favorite beverage, you’ve broken the glass and the semi-frozen wine is now dripping. (Let’s just hope it wasn’t a red.)

While temps are below zero, you won’t know you have a frozen pipe. It’s when the water returns to a liquid state that it will fit through the cracks that were formed when the solid ice stressed the pipes to a breaking point.

The first thing to do is to shut off the water. In past blogs, I talked about finding your main shut off valve before an emergency occurs. That basement water is going to be cold so grab your rubber boots and get back up the stairs and into warm socks as quickly as possible.

Then, call a professional plumber. It can be a challenge to find the exact location of a leak and plumbers who do this all the time know the tricks to avoid unnecessary damage. You wouldn’t want to tear down drywall to find there the pipes don’t run there. You’ll just add to your expenses and the mess.

Not only will a good professional plumber find the leak and repair it quickly, but we can also recommend professional cleaning services, the kind of people who restore your home after an emergency. You’ll get back to your life faster, cheaper, and easier if you can get the water turned back on and advice from those who’ve seen this sort of thing before. We can give you all the information you need and point out what photos to take so you can have an easy time with your insurance company, too.

As the weather does some crazy things, take a moment to find your shut off valve, make sure you’re checking on all the areas of your home that you may not enter frequently, like a basement or storage area, and keep an eye on your water pressure, which can change when you have a frozen pipe problem.

Put the Classic Plumbing by Reno phone number on your fridge (860-748-7305) and relax. If there is enough fuel to heat your home and your insurance policy is up to date, you are well ahead of Mother Nature.

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