After winter sets in is not the time to think about your pipes. Proper planning can prevent the freezing of your water lines and pipes by following these recommendations: Start from the outside. Drain all Garden Hoses and wrap outside pipes. Most of the time an outside faucet that spurs off you house will have a cut off inside or at the base. It is advisable to shut this off and leave the outside faucet on to be sure it is drained as well.
The reason it is important to drain both is because water left inside your hoses may expand upon freeing causing them to stress or rupture. Exterior pipes and faucets that are not properly drained can crack or break if water freezes inside them. You should also empty swimming pools to avoid damage to drains and sidewalls. Make sure all sprinkler lines are cleared and prepped according to manufacturer’s specs, and stroe sprayer heads and sprinkler nozzles accordingly.
NOTE: do not use antifreeze in these lines unless it is specifically stated by the manufacturer. Antifreeze is a potentially dangerous substance that can harm the earth and the creature that inhabit it if used improperly. Exam the rest of your outer home and yard to look for any water sources you may have forgotten like fountains or man-made ponds that have the potential to freeze and damage your lines. Often water pipes that are hidden in crawlspaces or under porches get forgotten.
If you have outside pipes that you can’t really drain and shut off, you can wrap. There are many fine products on the market that provide a “sleeve” of insulating material to wrap these pipes in. If you cannot find or afford pipe insulation, tape about ¼ ” around the pipe. It is a viable alternative. It is important to protect both hot and cold water pipes during freezing weather. If you can keep a shed or garage closed or wrap the underpinning of your home or porch to keep warm air around the pipes do so.
Inside your home you should check pipes that sit against outside walls. Again wrapping them or draining them if possible is a good plan. If the pipes are under cabinetry, leave those doors open to allow warm air in. If you are unable to cut off your water, Let your faucets drip especially through the night or when you are gone and they are not likely to be turned on.
Unfortunately a burst pipe is not usually obvious until it thaws, or a faucet is turned back on. If you turn on your water after a thaw, and notice really low water pressure, you may have a burst pipe. Immediately shut off the water and check for water damage or standing water.
Flooding and excess water in your home or business can be devastating. The damage to property—that is, to both the structure of the building and to your possessions and furnishings inside—can be significant and requires immediate attention. Even a minor amount of water can wreak havoc and cause damage the longer it goes without proper care and treatment. The professionals at All Flood & Fire understand all types of flood and water situations, and have been providing expert water remediation services in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs since 1996.
Time is the most crucial element in preventing permanent water damage to the structure and materials on the property. A prompt and thorough response in terms of cleaning and drying the area will also help avoid a potential infestation from mold and mildew. In order to minimize damage and ensure the job is done right, we always recommend immediate professional flood cleanup and restoration where excess water has occurred, but we also know there are several steps home and business owners can take in an effort to mitigate the situation.
When you experience water damage, you should:
- Ensure the source of the water entry or leak has been repaired or, if a blockage is stopping water from draining, make sure it is clear
- If safe to do so, turn off the circuit breakers supplying electricity to wet or water-damaged areas, and unplug and remove small electrical devices from wet rooms
- Take photos of the water-damaged area and items for filing an insurance claim
- If the water is from an inside source, such as a broken appliance, remove standing water by sponging and blotting with mops and towels
- Take up saturated rugs, carpets, and carpet pads when hardwood floors are at risk
- Ventilate wet areas by opening windows, turning on fans, and using a dehumidifier
- Transport computers and other electronics to a dry environment; blow parts dry with low pressure air
- Remove lamps and decorative items from wet furniture tops
- Open drawers and cabinets for drying out the interiors
- Place squares of aluminum foil, china saucers, or wood blocks under furniture legs to avoid carpet staining
- Pin up floor-length draperies, curtains, bed and furniture skirts to avoid contact with wet floors and further water absorption
- Remove books, shoes, paper goods, boxes, fabrics, potted plants, and other loose items that could stain floor coverings or absorb additional moisture
- Remove and secure breakables, moisture-sensitive, and high-value items for safe keeping
- Thoroughly inspect floors, walls, drywall, and other structural items for water damage
When you experience water damage, you should not:
- If the water is unclean/unsafe/unsanitary or from an outside source, attempt to clean it yourself
- If a ceiling is sagging from retained water, enter the room
- Use any type of home vacuum in the area, including shop vacs, as electrical shock may occur as well as potential damage to the equipment
- Place newspaper in any area to absorb moisture, as the ink transfers easily
- Walk on wet carpet any more than is absolutely necessary, so as to minimize damage
- Turn on heating or air conditioning if the property was flooded
- Increase or decrease ambient temperature unless instructed by a professional
- Attempt to keep every water-logged item, as not everything is salvageable
- Assume that, just because you have removed every last drop of water, the area is dry—water seeps into walls and other hidden areas
In all cases, you should wear protective gear—waterproof boots and gloves, and even a mask and goggles, depending on the type of water damage. Once the All Flood & Fire technicians arrive onsite, they test the water for contaminants and take steps to thoroughly decontaminate and deodorize the water-damaged area and items.
We are licensed, bonded, and insured, and have the training and certification to quickly and properly treat water damage in your home or business. Our technicians are IICRC certified, which means they possess the expertise to properly handle the basement water damage you’ve sustained. Our well-equipped fleet of trucks contains state-of-the-art industry-grade water extraction and drying equipment, all ready to take care of any water damage situation at your home or business.
If you’ve experienced unwanted water for any reason, call the professionals at All Flood & Fire immediately at 1-877-DRY-YOU-1 (877-379-9681). We are a residential and commercial water damage remediation company serving the entire Chicago area, and are available to take your emergency call 24/7, 365 days a year. All Flood & Fire’s proven process ensures the entire flood area ends up dry, clean, safe, and restored to its pre-damage condition.