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Water Damage: Frozen Pipe Bursts

Why pipes freeze 

When the temperature drops in Worcester, MA, the pipes in your home are at risk of freezing. Pipes can freeze when the temperature outside drops below 20 degrees. Frozen pipes most often occur in cooler areas of the home that lack proper insulation like attics, garages, basements, exterior walls, and crawl spaces. When water freezes it expands, putting substantial pressure on the pipe and causing it to burst. When the pipe ruptures, the unfrozen water in the pipe floods into the home. Even a small crack can release thousands of gallons of water, causing significant water damage to your home.

How to tell if you have a frozen pipe

  • Little to no water comes out when your turn the faucet on.
  • There is visible frost on the pipe or the pipe is cold to the touch.
  • Just before a pipe bursts, the pipe may have a slight bulge or visual stress fractures. 
  • Banging, clanking, or gurgling sounds when you use the faucet or flush the toilet. 
  • Smelly pipes; sewer or food debris can not flow in the kitchen or bathroom pipes.

If you have a frozen pipe that has not yet burst

You are not out of luck yet. If you find yourself with a frozen pipe, there are steps you can take to thaw it out before it ruptures.

  • Turn off the water.
  • Turn up the heat in the house.
  • Use a space heater and point it directly at the frozen pipe.
  • You can also use a hair dryer to try to defrost the pipe.
  • Apply heat tape or warm, wet rags directly to the frozen pipe. 
  • Make sure any gaps on outside walls are sealed to keep the cold air out.

What to do if you have water damage from a pipe burst

  • Turn off your main water supply valve or the shut-off valve to the fixture in question.
  • Contact a plumber to repair the pipe.
  • Contact a water damage repair specialist.
  • Mop up as much water as you can.
  • Remove wet area rugs and hang them to dry. Don't try to remove wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Lift draperies off the floor.
  • Wipe down furniture and raise off the wet floors with wood blocks or aluminum foil to prevent moisture wicking.

We hope you'll find these tips useful. If your home suffers water damage from a frozen pipe break, ServiceMaster Dynamic Cleaning is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by calling 800-865-5157 or contact us.