We recently told you all about how to winterize your house when it’s unoccupied to prevent pipes from freezing. Of course, you may be wondering what can actually happen if your pipes do freeze. At Drainworks Plumbing and Heating, we deal with damage from frozen pipes all the time, so here are some of the most common types of damage we see resulting from frozen pipes:
When water freezes in pipes, it creates a blockage that water can’t get past. If your water main is still supplying water to your home, this can create an area of extremely high water pressure between the main and the blockage. When this happens, any weak point in the pipe has the potential to burst or shatter, causing water to leak out. When this happens, the only option is to replace any offending pipes and take steps to prevent it from happening again in the future.
In many cases, burst pipes are located inside walls, where you may not notice the problem right away. In these cases, wood, drywall, and other building materials can become saturated with water and begin to rot away. If burst pipes are located in the basement (especially if they’re near foundation walls) it’s possible for the flowing water to erode mortar joints or even the ground supporting those walls. This is an especially disastrous outcome for a homeowner, as it can lead to a sagging foundation and an expensive repair. If you notice any brown stains on your walls, it’s a good idea to check behind them to determine if your pipes are leaking. If so, be sure to schedule a repair right away, before the problem becomes even worse.
Cracked, leaky pipes can also lead to another outcome you may not have considered: black mold. When standing water is located inside of a wall, it becomes difficult for it to dry out. When coupled with low light conditions, this can create the perfect growing environment for mold when temperatures warm up again. Again, the best way to spot problem areas is to look for brown water stains and check behind the wall for leaky pipes. Mold takes time to develop, so if you take care of these problems right away, you shouldn’t have to worry.
If your preventative measures didn’t prevent a frozen pipe this year, don’t fret; as long as you track down the leaky pipe in a timely fashion, you should be able to get it fixed up before there’s a major problem. At Drainworks Plumbing and Heating, we’re experts on replacing frozen and leaky pipes, so don’t hesitate to call us any time you suspect there’s a burst pipe behind your wall. We even offer 24-hour emergency plumbing services any time of the year – that includes, evenings, weekends, and holidays. So if you spot a burst pipe this cold holiday season, give Drainworks a call at (215) 333-8780 to get a free estimate. Don’t hesitate; deal with your minor leak now and it won’t end up becoming an expensive problem later.