Three Quick Tips for Preventing and Evaluating the Effects of Frozen Pipes

The Polar Vortex affected much of the Midwest last week and we've been busy mobilizing staff and equipment to meet the demand for restoration services as more burst pipes are expected during this week’s thaw. 

Our Detroit, Michigan team is especially busy from service calls as a result of burst sprinkler systems, fresh water pipes, and water lines connected to chillers or freezers.

“We’ve deployed hundreds to respond to the more than 40 calls from schools, businesses, apartment buildings and hospitals concerning frozen or burst pipes in the last week of January,” said Jeff Levine, regional vice president for Interstate Restoration in a recent press release. “We’re preparing now for continued service calls into February as warmer weather approaches and water pipes begin to thaw.”

If you're concerned your property might be affected by a frozen or burst pipe, we recommend the following:

  1. Check to see if water is flowing normally from faucets. A burst pipe will restrict flow. Also check ceilings for leaks from fire sprinklers. If there is a leak or water flow is limited, turn off main water shutoff valve to the building or apartment unit.
  2. Inspect the pipes closely for cracks. If you find any, call a plumber for advice before doing anything else. If major water damage has occurred, contact a restoration provider.
  3. If there is no damage present, add a space heater to the area or use a hair dryer to gradually warm the pipe. If the outside temperature is expected to rise, you can also wait for the pipe to thaw on its own before turning the water back on. Warning: Never use any type of open flame or torch to thaw pipes.

Looking for more resources? Be sure to download our free Water Damage Guide for further tips to consider when tackling unforseen water damage.