Frozen Pipes as Temperatures Drop
Why Are Frozen Pipes Dangerous?
Frozen pipes are a problem for a couple of reasons. They can create an inconvenience but, more seriously, can cause major damage to your property.
- Lack of Running Water– The most obvious danger of a frozen pipe is the inability to access running water. This can interfere with your tenant’s ability to do everyday tasks such as washing the dishes or taking a shower. It is a landlord’s responsibility to make sure his or her tenants have running water.
- Potential to Burst- The second problem that can occur when a pipe freezes is that the pipe actually bursts. Once the actual water in the pipe freezes, pressure is created between the closed faucet and the blockage that can build up to a point that causes the pipe to explode. If the pipe bursts outside, this could also create dangerous slippery conditions while the temperatures are below freezing.
Signs of Frozen Pipes
- The Temperature Is Right- Pipes cannot freeze if it is not cold enough outside for them to do so. Water does not freeze when it is 60 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and neither do pipes. When the temperature falls to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, you should begin to take precautions to prevent vulnerable pipes from freezing.
- There Is Frost on the Pipe- For pipes that can actively be seen, such as those under sinks, you may be able to see frost that has accumulated on the exterior of the pipe. This can serve as a warning sign that the pipe is frozen before you ever try to turn on the faucet.
- No Water Is Coming Out of the Faucet- Another sign that you may have a frozen pipe on your hands is lack of running water. If you or a tenant turn on a kitchen or bathroom faucet and only a slight trickle of water or no water at all comes out, the water pipe leading to the faucet may be frozen.
- Strange Smells- A fourth potential sign of a blocked pipe is an odd smell coming from a faucet or drain. If the pipe is partially or completely blocked, the only way the odor can escape is back up in the direction of your property.
How Much Does a Frozen Pipe Cost to Fix?
It is very difficult to estimate the cost of fixing a frozen pipe because each situation is so unique. Two factors that play a huge role in cost are the location of the pipe and whether the pipe has burst.
If you are able to easily access the blockage, such as a pipe under a kitchen sink, you might be able to thaw the blockage for free using a hair dryer or hot rags.
If the blockage is buried in a wall, fixing the issue will become more expensive. You may spend a few hundred dollars cutting open sheetrock to find the problem or more than a thousand if you need to hire a plumber to find and thaw out the blockage.
If a frozen pipe bursts You have a flooding issue on your hands, you could be faced with thousands of dollars of damage. You will have to hire a plumber to fix the burst pipe and then you will have to deal with fixing any damage the water has caused inside your property. If you have the property insurance, they should help cover some of these costs. In cleaning up the mess the water will leave behind you can count on SERVPRO of Ashland / Richland. We are water cleanup experts.