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Extreme winter temperatures in Big Rock, IL, can cause pipes to freeze and, sometimes, burst. As plumbing disasters go, this is a big one for homeowners as they’re always frustrating and often expensive. While a call to Just in Time, your local Big Rock plumbing company leader, can help you contend with the problem, there are some things you can do to minimize the damage (and expense) that a burst pipe can cause.
What Causes a Pipe to Burst?
During winter, the leading cause for burst pipes is having frozen pipes. When the weather dips well below freezing, it can cause the pipes to freeze as well. As the water in the pipes freezes, it expands. The expansion puts pressure on the pipes and can cause them to burst, especially at their seams where pipes are most vulnerable. There are some ways to minimize the risk for frozen pipes that any plumber could recommend. We’ll get to those in just a bit.
In addition to the pipes freezing, there are other causes for burst pipes that can happen at any time of year, day or night. An increase in water pressure can cause pipes to rupture, especially at their seams. Older homes might have corrosive pipes. As these pipes continue to age and their corrosion worsens, they become more susceptible to ruptures. Also, a burst pipe might result if pipes are moved. Pipes that are unsecured will move when water is in use. The movement can lead to a rupture.
Burst Pipes: Now What?
If the unthinkable has occurred and your pipe has burst, you’ll want to act quickly to minimize the damage. Here are a few things you should do to contend with a burst water pipe:
Shut Off Your Water Valve
First, you need to stop the water from leaking (or gushing) from your ruptured pipe. Turn off the water valve. Ideally, be sure you know precisely where and how to shut off your water in the event of an emergency like this. Depending on the size of the rupture and the watery mess, you may also need to shut off your electricity.
Open a Faucet
Opening a faucet will reduce the pressure buildup that may still be inside the plumbing system. Also, the water will drain and may prevent further damage from occurring.
Apply a Temporary Fix
If you’re inclined, you might try a temporary fix of your ruptured pipe. If the rupture is small, you can try to seal it with electrical tape. Epoxy putty, once hardened, can also seal the pipe so that you can use your water, at least until you can have your plumbing company address it–sooner rather than later. A seal clamp may also buy you some time until your plumbing company can send a plumber to your Big Rock home.
Call Your Plumbing Company
Your plumbing company will consider a burst pipe to be a plumbing emergency and should prioritize your situation. Just in Time, for instance, will arrive at your Big Rock home as soon as possible. Even if you have considerable DIY skills, a burst pipe demands the skills of a trained plumber. Our plumbing company outfits each plumber on our team with the tools and equipment needed to address plumbing emergencies like ruptured pipes.
Turn Up Your Heat
If your burst pipes were caused by the pipes freezing, you’ll want to turn up the heat. You may even want to wrap pipes with insulation that are exposed to outer walls. Open cabinet doors to allow heat to warm the pipes within them. If your home isn’t optimally insulated, consider investing in more insulation to reduce the risk of a similar problem happening again.
Clean Up the Mess
Water can lead to big messes–and lots of damage. Water can ruin floors and finishes. It can also cause mold and mildew. The sooner you clean up the mess, the better. If necessary, you may need to rent dehumidifiers and blowers. If there is a large amount of water–more than you can clean up easily with a shop-vac, you may want to contact a water removal company.
Inspect the Damage
After you clean up the mess, you should continue to inspect the areas that were affected by water. Look for signs of mold. If you spot any, use a mold killer to clean them up immediately.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
During extreme cold snaps, be sure to take some steps to reduce the risk of frozen pipes. As we mentioned earlier, invest in pipe insulation for pipes that are most at risk of freezing. Open your cabinet doors, especially at night, so that heat from your house can get to your pipes, preventing them from freezing. Also, allow your faucets to drip water when the temperatures dip dangerously low. The constant trickle keeps water flowing and reduces its risk for freezing. Standing water will freeze more readily and become a threat to your pipes.
A burst pipe is certainly a homeowner’s nightmare. However, when you know how to address the problem, you can minimize the damage. Remember to do your utmost to prevent your pipes from freezing this winter. You’ll reduce your risk of experiencing a burst pipe. If your pipe does burst, you can call Just in Time for fast help. Our plumbing company features licensed and experienced plumbers who will arrive quickly to contend with the problem.
Just in Time isn’t just an experienced plumbing company. We also provide heating, air conditioning, remodeling, and carpentry services. Call us to learn more or to schedule a service call. Be sure to check our website for our contact information and remember that we provide emergency plumbing solutions! You can rely on our skilled team of plumbing company pros 24/7.