With the cold, frigid temperatures of the past week, comes a problem many of us do not think about. It is the emergency of frozen plumbing pipes. As the temperatures rise back above 32 degrees,hundreds of families and property owners in the Miami Valley will be dealing with flooded rooms, caused by frozen pipes.
The Problem: As temperatures dip into single digits, many pipes in the home began to cool as well. Some pipes are susceptible to becoming fully or partly frozen. When the water in these pipes freezes and expands, it can cause cracks and breaks in some of the strongest pipes. As the pipes thaw, homeowners may find themselves in a situation with water literally coming out of the walls.
We sat down with Randy Mount, Owner and CEO of Ram Restoration of Dayton, who has over 12 years dealing with flooding, and solving such emergencies. “If a homeowner finds themselves dealing with flooding from broken pipes, it is important that they call a licensed restoration company to deal with the problem.” Such companies deal with situations like these every day, and they will work with your insurance agent to make sure things go smoothly, and your property is restored to pre-existing conditions, before the flooding. Randy says his faith based company finds satisfaction to helping those in need: “We show genuine empathy to these homeowners who are going through so many emotions during a difficult, even catastrophic time. We sympathize with their situation and assure them that everything is going to be alright, but it takes time.”
He goes on to say, “One of the most important reasons to use a certified company, is that you want to make sure they provide the proper expertise, equipment and follow through for the job.” Mount explained that if cleanup is not done properly, homeowners can then be subject to mold left behind, due to improper drying techniques. And as we have all heard, mold in your home can lead to a whole host of other nightmarish problems.
The first step is expert assessment of the situation. The next step is water extraction and drying of affected areas. Repairs to pipes are also done during these initial steps.
What the industry call “the putback” is the final step of the process. This includes any repairs to drywall, ceilings, carpets and flooring. In fact a quick response time may save items such the original wood flooring. Some restoration companies only offer water extraction, while others offer construction services too.
Tips when your house becomes flooded, due to broken pipes:
1) Turn off the main water line as soon as you discover flooding/leaking. Everyone in your house should know where to find the main and turn it off. If it’s heated water that’s coming from the pipe, you should also close the valve attached to your hot water heater.
2) Call a certified restoration company to come to your house. There are even some companies that are available 24/7 and promise to have someone to asses the situation within an hour of the emergency.
3) Contact your insurance agent and inform them of the situation. Getting a claim number and knowing your deductible are important tools in the homeowner’s decision making process.
Are you Insured? Many homeowners may find out, they are not covered from such floods. That is why it is important to comb over your home owner’s insurance policy, and talk to your agent, to make sure you are covered. It is your right to hire whatever restoration company you desire to conduct the work, the insurance companies may suggest a someone, but ultimately, it is the homeowner’s call.
Hopefully you won’t have to deal with such a problem so soon into the new year. But for those who do, maybe you are a little more prepared for what may come.