what to do when a frozen pipe bursts

How Do You Stop A Frozen Pipe From Bursting & What to Do if It Does

Plumbing businesses become swamped with calls to fix frozen or burst pipes during periods of cold snaps. These unfortunate bursts can happen to anybody. The likelihood of a pipe bursting in your house is dependent on the location of the pipes and their insulation.

In order to prevent the most damage from happening to your property, you need to know the warning signs of nearly busting pipes. Here are a few clues that can help sound the alarms in your head if you have a frozen or blocked pipe:

  • The Temperature Drops
    If it isn’t cold outside, your pipes won’t be able to freeze. Your pipes will be vulnerable once the weather starts to drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit (or lower), so you should consider taking the proper precautions.
  • You See Frost on Your Pipes
    For the plumbing that you are able to actually see, such as the area beneath your sink, you should be checking on it from time to time. A telltale sign that it might be freezing is when it starts to accumulate frost on the outside of it. If this happens, you’ll know what you’re dealing with before you even go to turn the water on.
  • You Notice are Odd Smells
    If there is a strange scent coming from the drain or faucet, the pipe could be completely or partially blocked. The only way the odor can escape is to go back up in the direction of your home, so it is a difficult sign to miss.
  • No Water is Flowing from the Faucet
    Last but certainly not least is a lack of flowing water. This is one of the most obvious signs, if you go to get a cup of water in the morning and nothing comes out of the tap then you should know that something is up.If you turn the bathroom or kitchen sink on and either no water runs out or only a slight trickle flows, then the faucet may be frozen.

How to Treat a Burst Pipe

The water damage following this disaster can be incredibly expensive, so here are the steps to follow to tackle the issue efficiently:

1. Turn Your Water Off (and Electricity if Necessary)

The very first thing you should do is locate the main water valve to your home and immediately shut it off. Don’t wait for a pipe to actually burst to take it upon yourself to find where the water valve is located, that could be valuable time lost. Wherever the water damage is occurring, you should also see to it that the electricity is cut off in that section.

There are some circumstances where you may not be able to access or have control over the water supply to your building, like if you live in an apartment complex. In this case, you should get in contact with your landlord or building manager as soon as possible.

2. Contact a Plumber

Once the more immediate measures are taken care of, the next step is to call a plumber. However, issues as unfortunate as these often occur at equally unfortunate hours, so you don’t want to be stuck calling a plumbing business that closed earlier that evening. Fortunately, many inspection and repair companies offers 24-hour emergency plumbing services to assist you in the case of a midnight burst pipe.

The pricing for emergency services can vary. It all depends on the location of the pipes as well as how badly the water has damaged the affected areas. If the floors have been marinating in the water for a long time, for example, you will most likely need to contact a professional in the water damage business to handle the drying out of flooring, carpeting, or walls and ceilings.

3. Begin the Water Removal Process

Nobody wants any mildew or mold to begin building up, so you should start the tedious process of removing the water as soon as possible. Break out your buckets, mops, towels, and even a dry/wet vacuum if you have one. The more thorough you are, the better.

It’s best to contact a professional if you need rented industrial fans and other equipment set up to ensure the best results. It might be a pain, but it’s the safest and quickest way to get a burst pipe problem out of your life!

Ben Suiskind
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