The dangers of unwanted water in your home increase in the winter. Freezing temperatures can burst pipes. Cold weather invites more guests and increased use of your plumbing system. And holiday travel leaves your vacant home vulnerable to water damage; significant additional damage to wood floors, cabinets, sheetrock, and insulation can occur when not dried quickly. Some of the most common culprits are:
Frozen Water Lines
Pipes rarely burst due to expanding ice contained within them. Rather, pipes break due to the buildup of water pressure between a sink’s faucet and an ice blockage. Ice forming in a water supply line can cause internal pressure as high as 2,000 p.s.i.; no matter how sturdy a pipe is, it’s no match for that pressure.
Usually, burst pipes are uninsulated ones located along the exterior walls or run along unheated areas of a home: the attic, basement, garage, crawl space or underneath a kitchen sink. If water flow stops during extreme cold, assume a pipe has frozen. Don’t wait until it thaws to find out there’s a rupture. Contact an ICC representative immediately.
Leaking Water Heater
During the winter months, your water heater must work even harder to heat the colder water. If the system is old or contains a lot of sediments, these particles will quickly absorb that heat. Water heaters should work quietly and efficiently. If you notice that yours is banging or knocking during operation, there may be a buildup of sediment. You might even notice rust in the water flow.
It is only a matter of time for it to leak or even burst, ultimately causing flooding. Think ‘prevention;’ check the unit for faulty pipes, leaks, or unusual noises before the coldest weather.
Gutters are essential to direct running water away from your home’s foundation. When gutters are blocked by ice, the aluminum system can get weighed down by ice buildups. When the snow along the roof melts from the escaping heat from inside your home, it can trickle into the gutter, pool, and freeze into what is known as an ice dam.
In addition, the heavy ice can put additional stresses on a roof. Water infiltrates underneath the roof shingles, lifting them up and causing roof damage. Observing your home’s gutters during both dry or rainy weather and before winter helps to ensure your roof is ready for winter.
Ruptured Outdoor Water Lines
After the first beautiful snowfall, it is easy to forget what is hiding in the yard under that white blanket. Be sure to remove all outdoor hoses from the yard, drain them and store the dry hoses inside. Then, shut off the water supply for outdoor areas. Hose bibs should be opened so that any residual water has expansion room without breaking the pipes. For extra protection, you can also cover the spigot with an insulated cover to avoid extra water from seeping in.
Winter Water Damage Cleanup In Rochester
Rochester gets more than its share of winter weather and ICC has years of experience with these common, plus unusual, water damage problems. The ICC website has many helpful hints about what to do when you experience water damage.
ICC is focused on restoring damage with as little reconstruction as possible so that your property is returned to normal faster. We use a variety of special equipment and procedures designed to restore damaged properties in one-third to one-half the time. This keeps restoration costs down and prevents secondary damage such as mold.
ICC also offers the widest range of restoration and reconstruction services in the Rochester area and Western Wisconsin, from emergency board-up to mitigation to full reconstruction services. The 24-hour Emergency Service available at 888-352-2321 or visit icchelps.com.