Water damage can wreak havoc on your business and home anytime of the year. However, there are scenarios that are more specific to the cold winter months. Read on to learn about possible water damage that can occur during the winter season and preventive tips to help you avoid the stress, possible loss of valuables, and hefty water damage repair bills.
Water lines that are exposed to outdoor temperatures must be insulated to reduce the risk of frozen or ruptured pipes when temperatures plummet. If ice forms in the pipes, it can block the flow of water, causing increased water pressure. This increased pressure can result in burst pipes and possibly water damage. If a pipe bursts, shut off the water supply immediately. Insulating pipes can keep them warm and prevent ice from forming.
Pipe insulation made of foam or fiberglass can be purchased at your local hardware store to prevent broken or damaged pipes. Use caulk to fill any cracks, holes or openings in outside walls near water pipes. Consider leaving the heat on in your home if you will be leaving for more than two days, setting the temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
To avoid needing water damage repair services, make sure you are clearing and inspecting gutters and downspouts regularly to prevent buildup of leaves, debris, and standing water. If water freezes inside the gutter, the ice can block the gutter, resulting in overflow that can damage the foundation of your home or even flood the basement. Ice can be heavy and could damage the gutters themselves.
Outdoor Water Lines
Cold, frigid temperatures can make exterior water sources such as garden hoses and outdoor water valves dangerous. Any remaining water in drain hoses can freeze and expand, deteriorating or even damaging hoses beyond repair. Be sure to drain any garden hoses and keep them stored in a warm location. Also make sure you shut off all outdoor water valves so that no water escapes into pipes only to freeze, expand and cause damage. This is true even if your pipes are insulated. The insulation does not add any heat to the pipe – it only keeps heat from escaping.
Worn-Out Water Heaters
Water heaters work extra hard in the winter months, so if you have an aged heater, it may be only a matter of time before it starts to leak. Check it regularly for faulty pipes, unusual noises, and leaks. If a water heater bursts, flooding and damage can occur. Click here to read about water heater blankets to determine if they are a good option for you.
Condensation can form when warm, humid air makes contact with a cold surface. When you turn the heat on in your home, the warm, humid air cools when it makes contact with cold surfaces, such as windows. The air contracts and its moisture condenses. One of the first places in your home that you will see condensation is on the windows. It can also form on pipes or walls.
An abundance of condensation around pipes can result in dripping and create pools of water on the floor. To prevent too much condensation, lower the humidity in your home, insulate your pipes, and fix any leaks immediately. Wrapping your pipes with foam or fiberglass insulation can prevent the warm, moist air from reaching them.
What to Do First
When you suspect water damage, the first thing to do is clean up the area thoroughly and inspect the area to locate the source of the water. If you find the source of the problem, make the appropriate repairs as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Depending upon the severity of the damage and if any mold and mildew have formed, you can implement DIY strategies to clean up. If you suspect severe mold formation, sewage overflow, or if it is a large area, you may need to call in the professionals for water damage repair services.
Your Water Damage Repair Team
Improper or delayed action for restoring water-damaged areas can result in loss of property or valuables and lead to mold growth. The team of professionals at Action 911 has the proper training and education and will make sure your water damage restoration is done right. Count on Action 911 for an immediate response.