Ways to Prevent Water Damage & What to do if Water Does Intrude
It’s starting to become that time again. Those of you who enjoy the cold and snow, I’m happy for you. Those of you, like me, that do not enjoy it, will just have to think warm happy thoughts.
With the strange weather patterns in our Midwest area, we need to be prepared for burst pipes that may happen in our homes and businesses.
Most people believe that when the weather gets below freezing temperatures is when pipes tend to burst. Pipes actually burst when there happens to be a warmer winter day and anything that has been frozen starts to defrost.
To prevent burst pipes, you need to start with stopping them from freezing in the first place!
- Turn your water off if you are going to be gone for more than a day! - especially when you go on vacation to escape the freezing temperatures.
- Keep your pipes warm! Open up cabinets if you are going to be leaving, or if you know that a below-freezing day is upon you.
- Insulate any exposed piping! Again, keep your pipes warm. If your kitchen sink is on an outer wall, you might want to consider throwing in some extra insulation. Check your basements for any exposed piping that might need extra warmth.
- Keep the water moving. Let water drip steadily from faucets, the more the water is moving, the less chance it has of freezing.
- Caulk any holes or cracks near your pipes. You don’t want any more cold air getting in your home anyway!
- Turn off your outside spigots! One of the biggest water jobs can come from being forgetful. Many people forget about their spigots, and suddenly there’s a new indoor swimming pool where your basement used to be!
Well, what if you didn’t follow ANY of these tips? Oops! There is now water in your home! Oh no! What to do? (Hint: flip this page over)
UNTIL YOUR LOCAL SERVPRO ARRIVES
- Stop the source of water/Determine source. Shut. Your. Water. Off. Don’t just leave water spewing into your home. Make sure you know where the source is coming from so you can have it professionally fixed, but until then, turn off your water. Please.
- Remove as much excess water as possible. Shop vac, mop, even throwing towels down will help slow the spread of water.
- Wipe any wood furnishings, or any delicate surfaces. Think of what you have in your basement. Is it antique? One of a kind? Or just extremely important to you? Try to wipe it dry and remove it from the affected area.
- Be aware of electrical hazards. If your basement is filling up with water, and the water line is above your outlets, that water could now be electrified. DO NOT try and test the water. Have a professional, like us, come and pump it out.
- Or if water came from above, look up at your light fixtures. Do they seem damp, or dripping? Turn them off and inform your professional technician.
- Pad or block wood furniture. If you can remove them from the affected area, that’s even better. If you don’t have much room you can always use foil to wrap and protect wooden legs, if moving them isn’t an option.
- Remove contents from the affected area. I hope that is self-explanatory. The less that gets wet, the less that gets damaged.
- If you have any fans set them to blow air on the affected areas. If you have any dehumidifiers, that’s even better! Tip: Living in the Midwest with the humidity and rain, everyone should have a dehumidifier stashed somewhere! It wouldn’t hurt to have it on hand.
Hopefully you now feel prepared to tackle this winter weather! Keep your home and your possessions safe from disasters!
As you know, if something does happen to your home or business, give us a call! SERVPRO of Rockford, we make it “Like it never even happened.”