Did the big Christmas Chill leave your stockings full of water and ice?
The Lowcountry saw a bitter cold front move in for this year’s Christmas weekend and to finish off 2022. The cold front brought with it below freezing temperatures during the holiday weekend which caused pipes to freeze all across the region. The havoc the cold spell wreaked unfortunately caused a few pipes to burst and our phones to start ringing. Here at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we have seen many of these types of disasters throughout the years, so we wanted to share a few tips with the community to keep your home protected from freezing temperatures.
Typically homes in the Lowcountry are built one of two ways, on a concrete slab or over a crawlspace. In both cases your home is connected to a water source, either from the city or a well, underneath the ground. When you have a crawlspace your pipes are typically running beneath the home and are exposed to the air. With a concrete slab your pipes will be underground, beneath the slab, and then running up into the home. Both types of homes are susceptible to freezing temperatures and pipe failure due to ice expanding within the pipe, causing the pipe to burst.
There are ways to prevent your pipes from bursting when we have freezing temperatures sustained for over a twenty-four-hour period. The best thing you can do is insulate your pipes. You can do this yourself or have a professional do it, if it hasn’t already been done. With pipes in a crawlspace this is a smart idea to get done right away. Its good added protection and can absolutely prevent a disaster but you should still consider following these additional steps of precaution.
Another way to keep your pipes from freezing is to make sure you leave your faucets dripping. Leaving the hot water side of each faucet left to slow drip will allow warm water to consistently flow through the pipes and preventing them from freezing over. You especially want to do this with the faucets on the furthest side of the house from where the water comes in because those pipes have the longest runs of piping exposed to freezing temperatures. It’s also good to make sure the cabinets under sinks and faucets are left open. This will help the pipes directly below the faucet stay a bit warmer.
For any outdoor spigots it’s important to detached any hose and bring them inside. Make sure the valve on the outdoor spigots are shut tight. It is a good idea to cover the spigot with either a combination of fabric and bags or with a protective cover that they sell at hardware stores.
These are just a couple tips that help prevent major disasters from happening in your home. Always make sure you keep your Property Insurance information handy and up-to-date, and it’s never a bad idea to also keep our number handy as well. Flooding your home with water from a burst pipe in the middle of winter is a disaster that needs to be mitigated right away to prevent further damage and expense. Always be prepared, always think ahead.
At SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston and Dorchester County we provide 24/7 Emergency Water Removal Service and Disaster Restoration, and we always have a team member ready to take your call, every day and minute of the year.
If you think you have water damage caused from a frozen pipe bursting please call us at 843.552.1226.