Water and Ice: How To Prevent (and Clean Up After) A Winter DisasterJan 29, 2018
Plumbing accidents, such as burst pipes, can leave a huge and expensive mess. Here in the Hudson River Valley, temperatures that constantly hover above and below the freezing mark challenge the most diligent homeowner to review prevention techniques.
To prevent water pipes from freezing:
- Improve air circulation by opening cabinet doors under sinks located on outside walls.
- Leave hot and cold water dripping in faucets, including laundry rooms.
- Put foam covers over outdoor spigots.
- Add extra insulation to exterior walls and ceilings in areas with poor air circulation such as basements, attics, closets and unused rooms.
- Seal up any cracks and holes near pipes on both interior and exterior walls; use a lit candle to identify drafts.
- Apply heating tape directly to water pipes that are easily accessible. There are two types of heating tape; one type of heating tape turns on and off by itself when it senses heat is needed, the other type of heating tape needs to be plugged in and unplugged when not in use.
When the Weather Wins: Clean Up from Burst Pipes
Even the best plans can be defeated by Mother Nature. Water causes serious damage; your cleanup efforts should start as soon as possible. The more time porous materials in your home have been exposed to moisture without treatment, the more likely those materials will continue to deteriorate. If a leak has affected multiple rooms, traveled from an upper level to a lower level of the home, or has been left unnoticed for more than 8 hours, professional water mitigation and specialized drying equipment is necessary.
Safety! If the leak happened near any electrical appliances, make sure power to the home is shut off while you clean. Remove soaked carpets, furniture, and other removable items from the area that was flooded. Let the professionals advise you on what is salvageable, based on how much moisture they absorbed. Don’t waste time on lost causes.
For a few drops on the floor, use towels, and a mop. For a bigger problem, your home wet-dry shop vac might remove the water; however industrial tools are 3-10 times more effective.
If weather permits, open doors and windows in the home to bring in fresh, dry air. If it is winter in New York, you will require more equipment. Bring fans into the area, set up across the flow and use the highest setting. A dehumidifier will remove moisture and dry more quickly than fans alone. Keep an eye on the unit and empty the water collection basin often. Use a desiccant product of silica gel; disperse around the room.
If you see that water has seeped into the subflooring or the drywall, immediately contact a professional restoration company such as Hudson Valley Contracting. They will restore all items susceptible to developing mold. Using thermal imaging technology, moisture readers, and professional-grade drying equipment, they can prevent secondary damages, protecting your health and your property’s structural integrity. If there is swelling or the drywall seams have separated, they must replace the damaged area since the paper facing of drywall often acts like a sponge.
Finally, call your insurance company and determine if the water damage is covered under your homeowner’s policy. Hudson Valley Contracting & DKI properly documents as they assess the damage, estimate time and materials needed to fix the problem, and use proper procedures for a lasting restoration. Through the use of industry proven drying techniques to guarantee the most efficient drying process, the dehumidification experts will monitor the drying process through every phase. By ensuring that moisture deep within walls, floors, and contents are thoroughly removed, you will avoid a wide range of problems in the future.
Hudson Valley Contracting & DKI
A leading contractor in the Hudson Valley area with over 30 years of experience in disaster restoration, Hudson Valley Contracting & DKI provides restoration services to commercial, insurance, and residential clients. Water damage services include water extraction, complete structural drying, advance dehumidification, mold and environmental remediation, carpet, upholstery and area rug cleaning, document salvage, drying and reprocessing, electronics restoration, and structural repairs. Emergency response teams use the most up-to-date technologies and are fully insured, licensed, and is registered in New York. Count on Hudson Valley Contracting & DKI when things appear at their worst; the 24-Hour Emergency Response Line is 845-637-3987 or visit hudsonvalleydki.com.