Frozen Water Pipes Can Cause Grand Scale Water Damage

While water damage to a home or business may be a possibility anytime of the year, here in Michigan the cold that accompanies winter increases the chances for water damage. Freezing temperatures impose the real risk of a water pipe freezing and bursting. Frozen pipes and water damage go hand in hand in many parts of the US with cold weather temperatures. Insurance claims related to water damage increase when deep freezing temperatures happen.

When temperatures drop unusually low water supply lines can be at risk. Water lines that are in areas of a home that are susceptible to cold drafts are especially at risk. If temperatures fall below 32 the water will begin to freeze expanding the pipe by over 9% increasing the pressure on water pipes. If it cracks or burst water will soon violently spray unabated till it is found out. By then the damages can be tremendous and devastating.

The professionals at Action Extraction are familiar with frozen pipes and water damage flooding. Each winter season we receive calls from property owners that have discovered water damage that resulted from a frozen water pipe. Often they are away in other States keeping warm and the damage is discovered by a family member that checks in on the home every few days.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Frozen Pipes and Water Damage

Homeowner’s insurance policies typically cover water damages related to “sudden and accidental” discharges of water from a plumbing source. The damage caused when water pipes freeze and break usually qualify as “sudden and accidental.” However, if your insurance carrier’s investigation reveals utilities were off at the time of incident, than coverage may be withheld. That would be seen as an irresponsible act which could preclude coverage.

No water damage scenario is good; however there is a silver lining when insurance companies confirm coverage for the restoration and repairs. The type of destruction properties can incur related to frozen pipe water damage can be tremendous costing thousands in restoration and repairs.

When coverage exist your homeowner’s policy should provide funds for:

  • The cost to access the burst pipe, such as tearing out a wall
  • Water damage restoration and repairs to your damaged property
  • Structural drying of any wet building materials
  • Electrical repairs if water came into contact with wiring, electrical fixtures
  • Plumbing repairs related to freeze damage
  • New furnace if damaged by water
  • New hot water heater if water damaged
  • Additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your home due to the extent of the damage

Tips on Preventing Frozen Water Pipes and Water Damage

If you have cold areas of your property that could cause water pipes to freeze you need to follow through with several tips that will prevent freezing.

  • Place additional insulation over exposed water pipes in cold areas of home
  • Place a fan to direct warmer temperatures to cold areas during extreme low temperatures.
  • Pipes located in crawl space, basement, attic, or garage may need a space heater.
  • Pipes in cabinets under a sink close to an exterior wall may need to have doors left open.
  • Set furnace thermostat to continuously maintain indoor temperatures of 65 degrees.
  • Open faucets to allow slight dripping that releases internal pressure if ice forms.
  • Leave cabinet doors beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks open to allow household heat to reach pipes.

Check out our post on water removal from property.

Signs You May Have Frozen Water Pipes and What To Do

Broken water pipes in MILoss of water pressure at one or more fixtures can indicate a frozen pipe. Turn the hot water valve of the faucet on to see if it thaws the pipe establishing full pressure. If there is no pressure at all chances are there is a freeze that has potentially swelled and broken or ruptured the pipe. If this has occurred it is best to turn the water off to the home and contact a plumber.

If the pipes thaw out under pressure than water from any broken pipe will quickly inundate your home and cause water damage. If there was a break, slowly reestablishing water pressure after thawing out the water pipes will have water squirting from it somewhere in the home slowly. Catching it early this way will keep you from a large water loss event.

What Should I do if a Frozen Pipe Bursts flooding my house?

If this occurs than it is the worst-case scenario and you need professional help. Water that runs out of a half inch pipe can produce hundreds of gallons of water in an hour. The type of flooding that accompanies a frozen water pipe is often on the grand scale affecting multiple room and all levels of the home.

A fractured water pipe that runs for even one hour can make its way to multiple building materials, electrical systems and even cause permanent damage to mechanical systems such as the furnace and hot water heater. When water deluges down from flooded floors it is highly recommended to contact an electrician when electrical is wet.

If you have found flood damage in your home from a frozen water pipe than call the professionals at Action Extraction immediately. We can fix the break or multiple breaks, remove water, restore, structurally dry and repair all damages. We specialize in insurance repair and offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

We have the experience resources and skill to quickly get your property back to the condition it was in before the damage. Our over 30 years in business has earned us the reputation as Michigan’s premiere water restoration company.