Water Damage Restoration: Frozen Pipe Myths

Gallons of water cascading down your walls and onto your floors is upsetting, scary, and dangerous. The most common source of water damage insurance claims in Michigan during the winter is frozen pipes. We at On-Site Cleaning want you to know the facts about how and why they freeze so you can avoid water damage until it warms up here in Troy. 

Myth 1- Expansion Causes Breaks

Many believe that frozen pipes burst because of ice expanding in place. However, it is the pressure when water freezes within the pipe that actually causes the pipes to burst. The water molecules expand, forming a blockage of ice which prevents unfrozen water from passing through. The pipe areas upstream of the blockage aren’t typically in danger of bursting because the pressure isn’t great enough. In this case, the water isn’t blocked, and can always retreat back to its source. Rather, the resulting pressure from unfrozen water between the ice and closed faucet is the primary cause of ruptures in frozen pipes. When that pressure causes a pipe to burst, water is definitely going to be a concern that will require the aid of a water damage restoration professional.

Myth 2- Pipes Burst While Freezing 

It’s important to note that pipes do not always burst once they’re frozen or while in the process of freezing. It’s the process of thawing that can be the biggest problem. After a pipe has frozen and begins to thaw, the pressure caused by the water that begins to rush through the pipe threatens to cause a pipe burst.

Myth 3- Northern Climates Are Most Vulnerable 

Generally, houses in northern climates are built with pipes located on the inside of the building insulation. This usually protects them from subfreezing weather. People who live in colder temperatures also tend to wrap the pipes, insulate the water heater, and maintain weatherstripping to keep homes warm. Although extreme cold, insufficient insulation and even bad luck can allow enough cold air to come into contact with, pipes can still lead to freezing.

In southern climates, however, pipes are more likely to be located in unprotected areas outside of the building insulation. They are seldom buried deeper than a few inches, or can cross roofs or run alongside the buildings. Plus, homeowners tend to be less aware of or prepared for the occasional freezing problems.

Myth 4- A Warm Attic Prevents Ice Damming

The winter months can be brutal in Troy. When temperatures plummet to below freezing in a typical winter, moisture on the roof can freeze. The danger actually comes from too much heat leaking from the attic, which melts the snow and ice. During the colder nighttime hours, this water refreezes, creating a barrier to the gutters. Additional melting and freezing builds up heavy deposits that can crunch parts of the roof. 

Even more frustrating, even with the best prevention efforts frozen pipes or damaging ice dams can still form. 

Myth 5- Water Will Dry on It’s Own

Although a broken pipe may not flood your home, it can still cause damage to materials. Then wet materials support mold growth. You can not assume that water will air out. It is critical to get a professional team in to inspect the damage, identify mold potential, and repair damaged materials. 

Equipped with the proper tools and equipment, the On-Site Specialty Cleaning And Restoration team can identify damage that you CAN’T see – further protecting your property from long-term damage. 

Reliable Water Damage Restoration In Troy

If water damage does occur from a frozen pipe or ice dam, it is crucial to choose a contractor who is certified, licensed, bonded and insured. On-Site Specialty Cleaning And Restoration has a proven process in place to perform a successful water damage restoration job.

On-Site Specialty Cleaning & Restoration is certified by the IICRC and equipped with the most advanced tools and procedures in the restoration industry, we have the experience necessary to restore your property to its pre-loss condition. 

If you have noticed flooding from a frozen pipe, or roof leaks from an ice dam, contact a team you can trust. On-Site Specialty Cleaning And Restoration in Troy will immediately send a technician to your property to get started on the water damage restoration process.