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Water Damage from Frozen Pipes

Swift Restore are no strangers to cold temperatures here in Layton, especially in December. One thing we might not be as familiar with though is bursting pipes when temperatures drop below freezing. So, just why are frozen pipes at risk of bursting and leading to water damage repair? Let us help explain just why frozen pipes are such a big risk for water damage in Layton.

Water Damage Repair Layton

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An old pipe breaks in freezing weather

Freezing pipes are at an increased risk of bursting not because of the ice itself, but because of the increased pressure inside the pipes. Water molecules crystalize into an open hexagonal form when it freezes, which takes up more space than when the molecules are in their liquid form. This expansion occurs when water freezes push the liquid water towards the closed faucet which causes an increase in pressure inside the pipe – especially between the blockage from the frozen water and the faucet. Eventually, the pipe will rupture in order to release some pressure, allowing the liquid water to escape the pipe. So not only will frozen pipes impede the ability to access running water, but they can also leave your home in need of water damage repair.

Now that we have a better understanding of why pipes freeze and how that can cause them to burst, it is important to understand which pipes are more susceptible to this type of water damage. Pipes located outside of your home’s insulation (like exterior faucets or those in garages) or in unheated interior spaces (basements, attics and crawl spaces to name a few) are the most at risk of bursting due to freezing temperatures. The good news is that there are things you can do to help keep these pipes from freezing and thaw the frozen water if they have already frozen.

  • Apply insulation to vulnerable pipes to trap in heat. Some common types of pipe insulation are mineral or glass wool, flexible elastomeric foam, rigid foam, and cellular glass. You can find different pipe insulation options at most local hardware stores, and they are easy to apply. 
  • Keep your faucet turned on to allow just a trickle of water to run, which will help keep the pressure inside from the pipe from getting too high.
  • Open cupboard doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes that are housed inside cabinets.
  • Keep your thermostat set a comfortable temperature, and open air vents in every room to increase access to warm air throughout your home

Keep a watchful eye out for frozen pipes this winter so you can avoid the water damage repair that follows a pipe burst. The being said, if you do find yourself in need of water damage repair, Swift Restoration and Remodeling is ready to respond any time day or night, 24/7. Whether your water damage is from a burst pipe, malfunctioning appliance, flooded basement, or any other cause, we guarantee the best results in a timely manner.