It’s one of the biggest fears about plumbing systems when you live in a climate as chilly as ours. Freezing pipes expand in volume, which can cause them to burst suddenly. This issue can catch you off guard, leaving you with a sudden flood of water you’ve got to get out of control ASAP.
Shut Off the Water
Everyone in your home should know the location of the water shut-off valve, just in case. The valve for the entire home is near the meter, or where the water enters your property. But some pipes and fixtures have their own shut-off valves nearby.
For a main water shut-off valves, several full clockwise turns should do the trick. Be sure it’s all the way off, and open up nearby faucets to empty the pipes completely.
Remove Furniture and Prevent Further Damage
After the water is off, it’s time to work quickly to get everything you can as dry as possible.
- Salvage what you can – Of course, you’re going to want to save what you can. Remove furniture that may have gotten wet and move it to a warm, dry place (without carpet). A wet-dry vacuum and some fans may help to dry upholstery.
- Set Up a Barrier – If there is any risk of flood water moving into the next room, you may need to set up a barrier of sorts.
- Soak up the water – Depending on the severity of the issues, different methods are recommended. For smaller leaks, you may only need some really good towels. A wet-dry vacuum may also work.
Pump Out the Water
For major leakage, you’ll need to bring in expert equipment. A sump pump might help to pump out the water, depending on the area of the leak. However, you should do whatever you can to make sure the area is completely dry, even if that means calling in a professional. There is a potential for mold growth, and this could lead to a number of health issues.
Thawing a Pipe? Be Prepared
You can thaw a frozen pipe with a portable heater or a blow dryer. When you attempt to manually thaw out a frozen pipe, though, be prepared for a flood. Keep buckets nearby, along with some towels or rags, keeping these underneath the piping if possible.
Fix the Pipe and Prevent Burst Pipes in the Future
Finally, it’s time to make sure this never happens again. You’ll need a plumber to remove the broken section of pipe and replace it. You can prevent pipes from bursting in the future by insulating the pipes and making sure heat is able to reach them. Pipe sleeves may be available in the local hardware store as insulation. You can even use newspaper, if you must. And when the heat is not on high enough, open up doors and cupboards to ensure heat can reach them.
VOGT Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers plumbing services in Minneapolis, MN. Call our friendly team for more information!