Mar 4, 2016

Fixing Damage If a Frozen Pipe Bursts

Fixing broken pipes can be a real problem, especially where frozen pipes are concerned because water will be everywhere, sometimes long before the problem is spotted. There may be times you can do a quick DIY repair, but sometimes it is trickier than you can imagine based on the location of the burst pipe and also the type of pipe in question. Fixing a metal pipe is different from fixing a rigid plastic pipe and unless you are proficient in solvent welding, plastic pipes might even be more difficult for you to work with. Then, once all is said and done, there is a need to begin a water damage repair assessment.

Why Pipes Burst When Frozen

Today's society is highly mobile and people move about the country more often than ever before in the past. When moving from warmer climates like Tampa, FL to the frigid north, many don't understand how to prevent those pipes from freezing. If you haven't left your water running, you are in danger of having your pipes burst. When water freezes it expands and any water left in the pipes will expand and quite often burst unbeknownst to you. It might seem perfectly obvious to most people who are familiar with just how quickly pipes can freeze because they were born and raised in the north, but for those new to colder climates, nothing ever prepared them for this type of event.

The Location of the Pipe Impacts Water Damage Repair

The first thing you should do is either fix the pipe yourself or call a plumber to mend the pipe or pipes that froze up. Unfortunately, many times this is the least of your worries. Once the pipes have been repaired you'll need to assess how much damage has been done to the building as a result and if there is any structural damage as well. Quite often water will seep deep down into the foundation causing mold and mildew which may be almost impossible to correct unless professional measures are taken. If the water isn't noticed or found soon enough the wood supporting and framing, the foundation could rot away. Repairing water damage isn't always just a matter of cosmetics. Taking a rug out that was ruined from a frozen pipe bursting is a whole lot different than tearing out a wall and replacing boards behind the walls.
You have probably heard the old saying that "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This is what you're up against when preparing for the cold winter months. Learn ways to prevent pipes from bursting, but if you are already confronted with this problem, it is best to get a professional on the job to ensure that no structural damage has occurred. If it has, acting quickly could save you many thousands of dollars.

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