When Your Pipes Freeze and Burst: Water Damage Restoration

Read time: 5 mins

When your pipes freeze and burst, you're faced with a sudden and challenging situation. But don't worry, COIT is here to guide you through every step of water damage restoration. 

With over 70 years of experience, our technicians have seen it all and know exactly how to handle these emergencies.

The Cause Behind Exploding Pipes

You’ve probably put a can of soda in the freezer before just to quickly get the beverage cold for consumption. If you’ve ever forgotten about the can, you may have come back to a beverage that exploded all over your freezer. This exact same principle applies when your pipes freeze and burst.

The reason for these explosions is because liquid expands when it reaches a freezing temperature. 

As existing water inside the individual pipe freezes and creates blockage, there is naturally nowhere for the water to go, causing the pipe itself to burst.

Believe it or not, homeowners in the south are also at great risk of their pipes freezing, perhaps even more so than counterparts in northern states. 

In many cases, older homes in the south have constructed water systems with pipes in attics or even outdoors, exposed to the elements.

Meanwhile, many homes in the north are built taking into account the threat of frozen pipes, with some builders observing the proper precautions to shield piping from opportunities where freezing could occur. However, pipes in the north can and do still burst.

Identifying and Addressing the Source of the Freeze 

Where are your pipes most likely to freeze? Common culprits include unheated interior spaces and pipes along exterior walls. To prevent this, consider insulating these areas or using heat tape on vulnerable pipes. Regular checks during cold spells can also save you from major headaches later.

What to Do If Your Pipes Explode

Plenty of precautions can be taken to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place. 

Whenever the external temperature gets below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to be careful—in other words, do NOT let the inside of your home plummet under 32 degrees.

For example, saving money on your heating bill is great when you’re out of town, but make 100% sure the temperature inside your home will not drop below freezing. Although it’s sometimes inevitable that freezing scenarios are going to extend beyond your control.

If you do turn on a faucet and no water is coming out, immediately cease to run the water, as you could begin creating further damage to your pipes. 

In the event you discover a pipe that has broken and is leaking water, the absolute first thing you’ll want to do is turn your water supply off at the source.

Initial Water Damage Control 

In the event of a burst pipe, act fast: 

  • Shut off your main water supply immediately to prevent further damage. 
  • Begin removing standing water safely, using tools like a wet-dry vacuum.    
    Remember, quick action can significantly reduce damage. 
  • Move any furniture or valuables away from the affected area to prevent secondary damage. 
  • If the water has affected electrical outlets or appliances, turn off the power to the area to avoid electrical hazards. 

Health and Safety Precautions During Cleanup 

Safety first! Always wear protective gear like gloves and masks during cleanup to protect yourself from potentially contaminated water.

Ensure the area is well-ventilated to minimize health risks associated with water damage. It's also crucial to thoroughly wash your hands and avoid touching your face when handling water-damaged items. 

If you suspect the water contains sewage or chemicals, it's best to wait for professional help due to the higher risk of contamination.

Professional vs. DIY Restoration 

While some minor issues can be tackled on your own, extensive water damage or potential mold growth should be left to professionals.

COIT's team is equipped to handle these situations effectively and safely, using specialized equipment and techniques. Our experts can also identify hidden moisture pockets and mitigate mold risks, ensuring a thorough restoration process. 

Remember, a quick DIY fix might seem cost-effective initially, but without proper treatment, water damage can lead to more significant problems down the line.

Call the PROs at COIT for a professional clean!

People Ask, Professionals Answer

How Do I Fix a Water Damaged Wood Floor? 

For water-damaged wood floors, use dehumidifiers and fans to dry them out. If the damage is extensive, you may need to consider refinishing or replacing the flooring. 

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage? 

Homeowners insurance typically covers sudden and accidental water damage. It's important to review your policy and understand what's covered. In case of damage, file your claim promptly. 

What is Content Restoration? 

Content restoration involves cleaning, sanitizing, and restoring personal items damaged by water. This process is crucial to save your valuable belongings. Contact COIT for content restoration today. 

What Type of Water Damage is Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

 Insurance usually covers scenarios like sudden pipe bursts. However, it's essential to check your policy for specifics and exclusions.

For Full Restoration, Place Your Trust in COIT

For full restoration and peace of mind, trust COIT. Our 24/7 availability, flexible scheduling, and industry-leading guarantee make us your best choice in tackling water damage from frozen pipes.

 Contact COIT to start the restoration process immediately. Remember, the sooner you act, the better the outcome.

Call the PROs at COIT for a professional clean!


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