Winter is definitely upon us here in Naperville. As temperatures begin to drop (and continue to drop), it is important to know what that could mean for your home – specifically your pipes.
Water Damage Cleanup In Naperville
One of the leading culprits for water damage is frozen pipes. When the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, standing water in pipes can freeze. When water freezes, it expands, putting excess pressure and strain on pipes. Since pipes are not built with any ‘give,’ if this pressure gets too high, they will burst – which may require you to invest in water damage cleanup services to properly fix. As the frozen water in the pipe begins to thaw with a rise in temperature, the water will begin to leak through bursts or holes created from the increased pressure from frozen water. So, how can we help prevent frozen pipes, especially when temperatures in Naperville hover around freezing during most of the winter? Here are just a few things you can do to avoid needing water damage cleanup from frozen pipes:
Open the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom to allow the warm air to circulate around the plumbing that is underneath them. Since they are shut off from the warm air, it is common for these pipes to freeze. Simply leaving cabinets open will help the air to circulate around those pipes easier and can prevent them from freezing.
Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature day and night. Yes, your heating bill might go up a little bit, but, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, water damage from burst pipes can end up costing around $5000 or more in damage and repairs. It is much less expensive to regulate a warm temperature in your home than to pay for the costs of water damage from frozen pipes.
99% of the time a leaky faucet is actually a sign of a problem, not to mention they are a nuisance and the sound can drive you crazy. However, if water is moving through pipes instead of standing still, it won’t freeze. If you have pipes that are more prone to freezing and they lead to a faucet, you should turn the faucet on, just barely, so that a slow and steady drip of water comes out. You don’t need a steady stream; just get a consistent drip to keep that water moving. It is much better to have the water intentionally dripping from the faucet into the sink or tub than unintentionally dripping all over your floor or carpet from a burst in a pipe.
For a long-term solution, you can add insulation to your pipes for as little as a couple dollars to your local hardware store. This is especially beneficial for pipes located in areas of your home that do not get as much heat, if any heat, or have very little insulation (think basements, garages, and attics, just to name a few.) Another alternative to insulation is to use a space heater in rooms where pipes might be at increased risk of freezing. Just keep in mind when using space heaters that it is best to have them plugged in to outlets with a ground-fault circuit interrupter, and to not leave them on unattended or for extended amounts of time. Also, don’t use extension cords. You don’t want to trade water damage in your home for fire damage, so just be cautious if using space heaters.
At GCPRO, our water damage cleanup experts know that no matter how prepared and cautious you are, it is not always possible to prevent water damage. That is why we are here to help. We can handle all your water damage cleanup needs, whether from a frozen pipe or any other source. So stay warm this winter, and call GCPRO if you need any water damage cleanup.