When the temperature in New England drops below 20 degrees, your property is at risk for severe water damage. Pipes can freeze and inevitably burst, spewing water all over your home. Are you prepared for this? Frozen pipes in RI are an expensive water damage claim when they burst that requires either a lot of money out of pocket or a trained Rhode Island public adjuster to ensure the highest payout.
How does a pipe freeze/burst?
During the winter, the temperature in RI frequently drops below 20 degrees outside. Pipes located in places like a basement, a crawlspace, an attic, a garage, outside, or anywhere else where they’re potentially improperly insulated, are at high risk to freeze. It’s important to check all pipes in and around your property to make sure they are properly insulated before the temperatures drop!
Water in pipes will freeze due to the cold weather, which causes a blockage of ice from within the pipe. As the ice expands, it pushes water towards the closed faucet. “This causes an immense amount of water pressure to build between the ice blockage and the faucet — eventually, the pipe ruptures under the pressure, usually at a spot where there’s little or no ice”. Once a pipe bursts, the water can leak out in any direction, which causes water damage in your home.
Where are burst pipes common?
The most common properties to be damaged from frozen pipes in RI are rental properties. Let’s say you own a property in Narragansett, RI. You typically rent to college students from URI and they will go home for winter break. The temperature drops below 20 degrees while they are away. Did they leave the heat on while they were gone? Are you going to check in on your property during the break? The answer to both questions is probably not. This leaves you at risk for your pipes to freeze, burst, and cause thousands of dollars worth of water damage. The next thing you know, your tenants call you up in late January to tell you the bad news!
Similar to rental properties, a lot of homeowners go on vacation during the holidays or leave their homes vacant for the winter. With no one home to prepare for cold weather, pipes can easily freeze and burst if they are not properly insulated.
How do you know if your pipes are frozen?
There are a couple of ways to tell if your pipes are frozen even before they burst. Look for these signs if you think they are frozen:
- Little to no water is coming out of the faucet
- A smell coming from the faucet/drain
- Visible frost on the pipe
- The temperature outside is below 20°
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How to prevent a pipe burst?
If you know that your pipes are frozen and you want to prevent them from bursting:
- Leave a trickle of water coming out of your faucet
- Thaw the pipe with a hairdryer or space heater
To prevent them from freezing:
- Drain your pipes before you leave for the winter or a vacation
- Keep your heat on when the temperature gets cold outside
- Pipes can freeze when the temperature drops to 20°
- Properly insulate your pipes
- Especially pipes in attics, basements, crawlspaces, garages, exterior walls of your home, and pipes that are outside
What to do when a frozen pipe in RI bursts?
The very first thing to do when your frozen pipes in RI burst is to shut off your water to prevent any further water damage. Next, call your local restoration company. We recommend RI Restoration, our sister company, to ensure that the damage is properly cleaned up. They will begin to clean up the water and dry out your home before mold has the chance to form.
After the restoration company is done, call a public adjuster at Performance Adjusting. Pipe burst claims in RI are tough to deal with and a public adjuster will know exactly what to say to your insurance company in order to get the money you deserve to restore your home or business property! If you have had a pipe burst in RI already this season, click here for a free consultation!