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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Can Freezing Pipes Damage Your Chicago Home?

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Illustration of a man thawing pipes with blow dryer Our certified experts are ready and available to help. Give us a call today (773) 337-3993.

Cold snaps and temperature drops can often have a destructive effect on the plumbing system in your home, including outside hose bibs. 

With both the proximity to the Great Lakes and the persistent winds pushing through the city, Chicago has record-breaking low temperatures during the winter months. As much as many homeowners work to protect their home and its utilities through the proper insulation, this is not always sufficient. In some situations, plumbing can be exposed to the elements without you realizing, such as a mouse that might be removing insulation around the pipe for a nest it is building nearby. You cannot know about these vulnerabilities in your network of water service lines until these extreme lows exist, freezing the liquid inside. 

You often cannot recognize the potential for water damage in your Chicago home before these disasters occur. The pace of water flow from these plumbing breaches is substantial, allowing hundreds of gallons of water to impact the immediate area within minutes. It is vital when these conditions exist that you can focus on relevant, helpful steps such as shutting down the water supply to your home to prevent further damages. It is vital to know where your main shutoff is before a crisis, so you waste little time in protecting the property as best as you can. 

How Do Water Pipes Freeze in Chicago Homes? 

While many homeowners can deduce that freezing conditions and still water in your service lines are enough to cause a problem, there is more to these disastrous events than you might realize. Aging pipes, such as lead service lines, can degrade over decades to become thinner than when installed. These more fragile materials encasing your water supply are now more susceptible to freezing conditions to impact the metal service line and the still water inside. 

There are ways that you can better protect your property and its occupants from these unfortunate circumstances. Knowing what to look for when inspecting your property can help you to identify where more insulation might be necessary or where you could need new plumbing materials altogether. Preventing pipe bursting typically falls into three stages:

  • Ensure pipes are appropriately insulated
  • Inspect exposed plumbing for damages and wear
  • Leave several faucets running a small amount of cold water in deep freeze conditions

What Extraction Strategies Can Help with Standing Water? 

One of the first tasks responding SERVPRO technicians must address after a pipe bursts in the walls of your home, or your basement is removing standing water. Pooling can almost instantly become a concern when hundreds - or even thousands - of gallons of water find the floors of your home. We have multiple extraction tools that can help in these situations to eliminate surface water, so more intricate drying and water removal tactics can begin. The removal of standing water often falls to three extraction units in our inventory: 

How Can Drying Be Efficient in Damaged Homes? 

The removal of standing water is only part of the concern, however. While the most pressing damage can occur from pooling and water exposure to elements like the flooring and wall systems, adequate drying is also critical. Many tools must play a role in the drying and restoration of your damaged home, much of which can be within wall systems and structural cavities. Controlled demolition can often provide direct access to damp areas of the house without requiring excessive build-back and reconstruction once mitigation efforts complete. The tools most commonly used in evaporative drying of damaged Chicago homes include: 

  • Air Movers
  • Desiccant Dehumidifiers
  • Floor Drying Mats
  • Positive Pressure Systems
  • Portable Electric Heaters

Does SERVPRO Perform Repairs? 

Instead of waiting for the available scheduling to line up with third party residential contractors, we have in-house building trade professionals that can help to provide controlled demolition solutions for damaged drywall, wood framing, and insulation. These same experts can seamlessly transition into build back, and reconstruction when mitigation completes and plumbing repairs have allowed for the re-pressurizing of the water utilities in the house. 

Pipe bursts from cold snaps during the harsh winter seasons of the Windy City can be a damaging situation for your house. Our SERVPRO of Marquette Park / West Lawn / Ford City team is Faster To Any Size Disaster, and we are ready to mobilize quickly when water damages occur. Give our professionals a call anytime that you need us to make loss incidents "Like it never even happened." We are available 24/7 at (773) 337-3993.

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