There’s no denying it—winter is here, and it’s incredibly cold. Kansas is far from being blessed by mild winters. Ice is practically a permanent fixture around here in the winter months, and unfortunately, that ice can sometimes start to appear in your pipes. When pipes freeze, there’s a good chance that they will eventually burst. What should you do if that happens? Keep reading to find out, and be sure to contact our water damage contractors in Lawrence, KS, if this ever happens to you.
Signs of a Frozen Pipe
Before we talk about what to do after a pipe bursts, let’s talk about the early signs of a frozen pipe, so you have a chance of preventing it from bursting in the first place. Here are the three key signs that you have a frozen pipe in your home:
- No water – Surprise, surprise. Ice doesn’t flow! If you turn on a faucet and don’t get any water, there’s a good chance the water is frozen inside of the pipes.
- Frost – For visible pipes, you may actually be able to see frost developing on the outside of the pipe, indicating that the water inside has begun to freeze.
- Smell – Drainage pipes can freeze too, and when they do, they’ll block food particles and other waste from washing down the drain. This will cause a bad smell to emit from the drain.
If you notice these signs, you can attempt to thaw the pipe before it bursts. One of the simplest things to do is turn up the heat in your home to bring the temperature of any pipes above freezing. If the frozen pipe is accessible, you can use a heating pad, hairdryer, or space heater to warm it up; never use boiling water, as this will change the temperature of the pipe too rapidly and can actually cause it to burst.
What to Do If It Bursts
If it’s too late to prevent the frozen pipes from bursting, then it’s time to take quick action. Your first priority should be shutting off the water before any more water damage occurs. You can shut off the water to that individual pipe, or simply use the emergency shutoff valve to turn off the water to the entire home. If you live in an apartment building and can’t shut off the water yourself, contact the landlord, superintendent, or building manager immediately.
Some people think that once the water’s off, they can take a moment to catch their breath because the most immediate problem has been solved. But this simply isn’t the case. Even after the water is off, the water that’s already flooded into your home can continue to cause damage. It will seep into porous materials like carpeting, hardwood floors, cabinets, wood furniture, and drywall, further damaging the materials and creating the perfect breeding ground for mold.
So, after the water is off, don’t wait another moment to call for emergency cleanup services in Lawrence, KS. We’ll get the recovery process started as soon as possible, and help you work through your insurance claim as well. Because, once you’ve contacted us, your next call really should be to your insurance company, so you can ensure your repairs are covered.