Frozen Pipes Threaten Area Homes

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Updated: 1/04/2013 7:01 pm

The New Year brought subzero temperatures to eastern Idaho, and could be wreaking havoc on many area homes.

A local disaster response team says they are getting ready for what could be a busy season of busted pipes and water leaks.

They say there are some easy steps you can take now to keep your home protected.

“If you have a question of whether your pipes will freeze, it’s great to leave your water trickling overnight or when you typically turn the heat down,” said Derek Preece of On the Spot Cleaning and Restoration. “Open up your cabinet doors, especially the ones that are on the exterior walls. Open up cabinet doors sot that the heat from you house can keep the pipes from freezing.”

There is one area of your home that you should pay the most attention to and if it freezes, you might not know the consequences until many weeks later.

“The majority of pipes that freeze are your water spickets and because of how they are designed, they break beyond the valve and so they won’t leak until you turn the water back on in the spring,” said Preece. “And so we do a lot of frozen pipe stuff clear into May and June.”

Derek says that many times people will find a leak when water starts coming from the ceiling or a light fixture. The damage can be extensive and whether you dry your home out yourself or leave it to the professionals, you’ll want to make sure that everything dries completely.

“Someone who has specialized moisture equipment to find out what is the moisture content in the building materials will insure that you are actually dry instead of thinking it’s dry and the next thing you know you have mold growing up your walls,” said Preece.

A frozen pipe can exert pressure of up to 2,000 pounds per square inch and that more than enough to rupture just about any pipe that you have in your home. You should also avoid using flame torches to thaw a frozen pipe. Flame torches are the leading cause of frozen pipe related home fires.   

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