One of the worst problems a homeowner suffers is water damage cleanup. When a pipe bursts in the house, hundreds of gallons of water can spill on the floor, spray on the walls, and ruin your furnishings. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says an average burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage.
Water damage problems don’t only occur in the home. Often the plumbing in an additional or garage can burst in a cold snap. Even properly buried underground water pipes can occasionally rupture in extreme cold. More commonly though, burst pipes are usually a result of plumbing problems and aging homes. From the water damage cleanup professionals at Restoration 1 of Charlottesville, here are the most common causes:
Here in Virginia, freezing temps are the most common cause for burst pipes. Although cold temperatures generally cause things to contract, ice has more volume than water. When it freezes inside a line, it expands and increases pressure inside. The increasing pressure must escape– so it literally bursts right out of the pipe. Sometimes this occurs at a weak joint in the pipe, but pressure can bust out the side of the copper, PVC or other pipe material.
As you know, a common DIY way to prevent pipes from cracking during extreme cold is to turn on your faucets to allow a slow but steady stream of water to flow. This will keep water moving through the channels, and most importantly, prevent pressure from building up inside. Insulate exposed supply lines with foam pipe sleeves and don’t allow the temperature in the house to fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow warm air to circulate.
Pipes in the crawl space, outside walls, and in the attic are even more vulnerable to bursting in cold temperatures. Where possible, seal gaps around holes where pipes run through walls or floors. Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. Consider low-temperature detectors that send potential freeze alerts to your smartphone for another layer of protection.
When pipes aren’t properly secured to the structure, they can sometimes move around inside the walls whenever water is suddenly turned on or off. Whenever you’ve heard pipes clanging inside walls or floors, or “water hammer” the movement can weaken joints over time until failure. Use that sound as a warning and call Restoration 1 to investigate.
Maintaining normal pressure is vital for your supply pipes to function properly. A significant increase becomes too much for your pipes to handle; they expand to burst pipes or break fixtures. If you suspect your pressure is too high, a plumber can install a pressure reducing valve to adjust it down to safer levels.
Plumbing systems are meant to last a long time and the vast majority of them provide many decades of reliable service. However, that doesn’t mean that materials last indefinitely. Sometimes years of slow building corrosion will cause a pipe to fail. Corrosion can be caused by a pH imbalance in the water, which damages over time.
If you have hard water and your lines are made of galvanized iron, the minerals inside the water slowly wear down the galvanized coating and expose the iron pipe beneath. Over time, the iron rusts and gradually narrows the diameter so that water can barely get through. Your pipe may close off and prohibit flow altogether, causing a backup via the sink or toilet.
No matter the reason why it burst, when you have uncontrolled water in your home you need help right now. We are available 24/7 to clean up your problems fast. Our water damage cleanup experts will quickly identify the source, make all repairs and restore all materials. The experienced water damage cleanup team knows steps that the average homeowner may not know to take, that can reduce the overall costs of restoration.
For water damage cleanup emergencies in Charlottesville, call us. Here, we have compiled a disaster checklist to help you prepare for the unexpected. And if you suffer water damage, our promise is that we will use the best materials and above code quality craftsmanship to restore your damaged property.
Chris was very thorough in analyzing the condition of the problem. He was very professional, and has a very good disposition, funny at times. He is knowledgeable in his field of expertise and gave us an excellent free estimate and some great suggestions and recommendations. I highly recommend him and his company.- Rhodora K.
Wonderful experience with these guys – honest, thorough, and unassuming. Recommendations were the kind you’d give to family – both respecting money concerns as well as helping you to make the most informed decision for your health.
These guys are excellent!- Dalton Carr
I wouldn’t give any less than 5 stars for this company. The whole process, Alaina was very informative and respectful. She listened to my concerns and gave me all the cost effective ways to avoid possible use of their services which is a definite integrity move. The guys who came to actually clean out my basement were very polite and helpful. If I need any kind of restoration work in the future I’ll definitely call Restoration 1 of Charlottesville!!- Andrew Foltz
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