The team of restoration technicians at All Nation Restoration understands that water damage in Austin and Waco, TX, can cause disruption, expense, and stress. All Nation Restoration handles all the hard work and heavy lifting of the water damage restoration process so the homeowners and businesses can maintain life as normal. The team’s great attitude, superior skills, and friendly customer service set the bar high in the industry. To ensure customers receive the best the industry has to offer, the Austin restoration company provides cutting-edge training, advanced technology, and innovative techniques to their staff in order to tailor the services to the client’s needs, including water damage restoration.
One of the leading causes of water damage is frozen pipes during subzero weather. When a pipe freezes and ruptures, water can flow from the pipes at a rate of seven or more gallons per minute, which is nearly 400 gallons of water per hour. This amount of water in a crawl space or basement can be devastating. Noticing the ruptured pipes and turning off the water as soon as possible is crucial to reducing the total amount of water damage. Beginning the water damage restoration process as soon as possible also helps avoid advanced secondary damage, which may include mold infestation.
The City of Austin and Austin Water offer Austin area residents the following tips for preventing water damage during freezing weather:
Prior to the onset of freezing temperatures:
- Wrap insulation around all exposed pipes that are outside or in unheated areas of the home or business.
- Detach all garden hoses from faucets that are exposed to the weather. Use Styrofoam covers, rags, or paper to insulate outside faucets. As little as one-quarter inch of newspaper has great insulating value. If paper is used, it must be kept dry.
- Cover vents around the foundation of the home to prevent the flow of cold air into the crawl space.
- Know the location of the main cut-off valve for the property. Be familiar with how to access the valve and how to shut it off. If a tool is needed to shut off the valve, know where the tool is kept and how the tool should be used. Before operating the cut-off valve, apply a lubricating oil such as WD-40. The lubricant will help prevent the valve from breaking.
- Special note to Austin residents: The valve is located near the water meter box under a six-inch metal lid.
When sub-freezing weather occurs:
- Adjust outside faucets so that they constantly drip for twenty-four hours a day. The recommended drip rate is five drops per minute. Dripping is necessary only if temperatures are expected to be at or below twenty-eight degrees for at least four hours. Remember to turn off the dripping faucets after the threat of freezing weather passes.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls. This action allows the warm air from the home to warm up the water pipes.
- If the laundry room is in or near an unheated garage, shut off the water to the washing machine. If the home has a water softener, the water softener should be drained and insulated to protect it from freezing temperatures.
- If the frigid weather will last for more than a day or two, allow water to drip slowly from the inside faucets.
- Those pipes that have frozen in past cold weather should receive special attention. Take extra precautions with these pipes.
If the home will be unoccupied during the frigid, sub-freezing temperatures:
- Shut off all water to the structure at the main cut-off valve.
- Drain the water from all outside water faucets if the structure will be vacant for several days. Leave outside faucets open.
- Another option is to leave the home heating system on at a lower setting to keep the inside of the home warm.
- Open the cabinet doors under sinks that are adjacent to outside walls. The heat from the house will prevent the pipes from freezing in the short term. If water pipes inside the home burst, the damage could be catastrophic. (As mentioned above, water can flow from a burst pipe at the rate of seven to nine gallons per minute.)
If a water line breaks or the shut-off valve fails to function properly or if the customer is unable to locate or operate the valve, Austin Water service technicians are available to turn off the water. Call Austin Water’s 24-Hour Emergency Hotline at (512) 972-1000.
In case of a water damage incident, contact the experts at All Nation Restoration. The water damage restoration company in Austin, TX, can handle the entire project and provide the necessary documentation indicating that the work has been completed.