New York City is known for its cold winters and when the temperature drops below freezing, it can affect the plumbing in your home or building by freezing the water in the pipes. Once the water becomes frozen, the ice will slowly expand which can cause pipes, sprinkler heads, and other fixtures to burst and leak large amounts of water into the building. ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete can clean up messes caused by burst pipes or sprinkler heads in New York, NY and restore the damage to the affected materials. We have the training and equipment to deal with the large amount of water damage caused by a burst pipe and we will help you find a professional that can fix the damage to your plumbing system.
Frozen Pipes and Sprinklers
The pipes in the plumbing system for a home or building are usually in hidden areas like attics, basements, or between walls and these areas may be poorly insulated against cold weather. If a pipe becomes frozen, the ice will block the flow of the water and expand within the pipe until it finally bursts from the pressure. Water leaks from a burst pipe or busted sprinkler head can lead to very serious damage as hundreds of gallons of water can leak out into your home or building in a very short period.
The first thing you should do if a pipe bursts in your home or building is shut off the main water valve and then call ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete. Our technicians will make sure that all the spilled water is removed and we use advanced dehumidification equipment to effectively dry wet furnishings and building materials to prevent mold growth. We can also help repair any structural damage caused by the water to get the affected area back to its original condition.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Pipe bursts and broken sprinkler heads can leave your home flooded in the middle of winter which is a huge hassle. By following these tips, you can avoid pipe bursts by preventing your pipes or sprinkler heads from freezing in the first place:
- Keep your water on at a constant trickle because moving water is less likely to freeze. Turn both the hot and cold water on when doing this.
- Keep the cabinets under the kitchen and bathroom sink open so the pipes are warmed by the heat or place a space heater nearby to keep the pipes warm.
- Install pipe insulation or electrical heat tape on pipes in poorly insulated areas.
- Warm up your attic, basement, or crawlspace with a space heater.
- Do not leave any hoses outside and turn off the main outdoor water supply.
How to Find Frozen Pipes
Low water pressure is the biggest indication that there is a frozen pipe in your plumbing system. If a pipe is frozen, you must find it and try to thaw it out before it bursts. The following tips will help you locate a frozen pipe:
- Figure out which supply line has a frozen pipe by turning on the faucets in your home.
- Keep a faucet on the supply line running.
- Examine the supply line by following the pipe from the faucet until you find the frozen section.
- Frozen pipes generally have a layer of frost or ice on the surface and they may appear bulged or fissured.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes must be thawed right away before they have a chance to burst. Thawing exposed pipes can be done easily with a hair dryer but if the pipe is behind a wall, there are a few extra steps you must take. The following options are effective for thawing hidden pipes:
- Turn up the heat in your home or building.
- Use an infrared lamp to heat the area near the frozen pipe. These lamps can apply direct heat to the wall and pipe because they do not heat the air.
- Remove the wall or ceiling in front of the pipe so you can access it directly.
If you choose the last option or find an exposed pipe that is frozen, use a hair dryer to thaw it out. The most effective method is to turn on a faucet attached to the supply line and heat the pipe starting at the blockage and moving towards the faucet. Do not use a flame torch because it could cause a fire.
Homeowners and business owners must be on alert for frozen pipes and sprinkler heads during the winter and take the right actions to thaw them before they can burst. The amount of water damage caused by a burst pipe or busted sprinkler head can be extensive and the damage will only get worse if you don’t call a professional right away. As soon as a pipe bursts in your home or building, turn off the water supply and contact ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete. We are available 24 hours a day at (347) 380-8388 to respond to pipe bursts in New York, NY.