FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014
The following is from Paul-Davis Restoration, a leading provider of residential and commercial restoration services.
"I have been out with crews assisting folks with weather related problems. I learned this morning that the power has been off at my house most of the day! Not good on the coldest day in 20+ years!!! If you have a client in a similar predicament, I hope this email and information (put together by my staff) will help them and you"
What To Do – When Power Goes Off During Frigid Temperatures
Should the heat be off in your home for several hours or days during a winter storm or excessive cold snap, you should protect exposed plumbing, sewage systems and appliances from freezing and subsequent damage. Frozen pipes could become a problem once the temperature inside the home falls below 40 degrees F. Even more so when the temperatures rise and pipes thaw.
If some pipes have frozen, despite the fact that power and heat returns, there are some simple measures to take. But whenever possible, get a plumbing expert for any work or repairs that me be needed.
REDUCE THE CHANCE OF FROZEN PIPES
Follow these steps to reduce the chance of pipes freezing during a power failure:
• Shut off the water at the main valve, or turn off the well pump if it is in the house.
• Turn the water heater off. An explosion could result if the heater is left on without water in the system. You will find either an electrical switch or gas valve for shutting off the appliance.
• Open all the faucets on the lower level, then the upper level. You may want to collect the water for household use.
• Insulate un-drainable pipes around their main valves. Use newspaper, blankets or housing insulation.
To state the obvious, modern houses are not designed for frigid interior temperatures. For this reason, you should contact a plumber or other expert if the house will be (or has been) without heat for an extended period of time. Critical measures include: draining of toilets, water softening units, drain traps, sump pumps, heaters, humidifiers, dishwashers and other appliances that use water.
WHEN PIPES FREEZE
Under normal weather and circumstances, our plumbing pipes are usually on interior walls and are insulated well enough so that water will not freeze. But frozen pipes may become a concern if the heat is off or if water pipes run through unheated crawl spaces, floors over garages or in outside walls.
If pipes do freeze:
• Shut off the water supply and open faucets to the frozen pipes.
• Warm them with a heat lamp, blow dryer or portable heater.
• Do not use boiling water, propane torches or any open flame to thaw frozen pipes.
• Apply only moderate heat and expect to wait for several hours. Warming slowly is critical.
• Open sink cabinets to let in warm air.
If, unfortunately, pipes have burst before you could take preventive action, immediately turn off their water supply. Try to locate the areas that need repair and call a plumber immediately.
Due to the excessive amount of water that will be present, it is recommended that a professional restoration/mitigation company be called in to provide cleaning services and structural drying. This is critical for the health and wellbeing of the house. Remember to Call Paul! Paul Davis Restoration @ 708-599-8900. We are here to help with industry leading service, equipment, professionalism, and know-how!