Solving the Frozen Pipe Problem

You expect to hear a “splish splash” when you step into the tub, but when you step into your basement and hear that sound? Definitely not expected. We know that we are going to encounter water, snow, and even ice, but that does not make them welcome in our home. We at TCM restoration know that water damage can cause some serious, expensive problems when unwelcomed into our houses. Think about all the pipes, the moisture in the ground surrounding the foundation, and all the appliances in our homes that use water. Now add up the amount of moisture we receive from the weather between rain and snow. It is no wonder why our houses are at risk for water damage. Living in Anchorage, we are definitely not strangers to water, snow, and ice. Consequently we need to make sure our homes are defended from the potential hazards of water damage.

Causes of Water Damage

One of the leading culprits for water damage found in homes is from frozen pipes. When the temperature drops, standing water in pipes can freeze. When water freezes, it expands and can burst right though a pipe. It can also put so much strain on the pipe that it splits at its seam. As the frozen water in the pipe begins to thaw with a rise in temperature, the water will begin to leak. So, how can we help prevent frozen pipes, especially when temperatures in Anchorage stay below freezing all day long during most of the winter? Some ways to prevent water damage from freezing pipes are to:

1. Open the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom to allow the warm air to circulate around the plumbing.

2. Don’t touch that thermostat! Keep it set to the same temperature day and night. Yes, your heating bill might go up a little bit, but, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, water damage from burst pipes can end up costing around $5000 or more in damage and repairs.

3. Let cold water drip from faucets. Sure, any other time a leaky faucet is a nuisance and the sound can drive you crazy, but if water is moving through pipes instead of standing still, it won’t freeze. You don’t need a steady stream; just get a consistent drip to keep that water moving. It is much better to have the water intentionally dripping from the faucet into the sink or tub than unintentionally dripping all over your floor or carpet from a burst in a pipe.

4. For a long-term solution, you can add insulation to your pipes for as little as a couple dollars to your local hardware store. This is especially beneficial to pipes located in areas of your home that do not get as much heat (i.e. basements, garages, and attics.) Another alternative to insulation is to use a space heater in rooms where pipes might be at risk. Just keep in mind when using space heaters that it is best to have them plugged in to outlets with a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Also, don’t use extension cords. You don’t want to trade water damage in your home for fire damage, so just be cautious when using space heaters.

Do Not Despair

After following all the right advice for your pipes and you still find yourself “splishing and splashing” in areas of your home that are not intended for such things, do not despair. Water damage, though serious and potentially detrimental, can be handled. As soon as you discover a leaky pipe, contact TCM Restoration and Cleaning. We have crews ready to respond 24 hours a day, and have been proudly serving Anchorage and Mat Su Valley for 23 years. We can handle every step, from stopping the leak, to removing standing water, drying everything out, and replacing or repairing whatever has been damaged. We are here to help you and your home in your time of need.