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Did You Have Frozen Pipes in February 2015?

Posted in Mold, on February 20, 2015

Last weeks cold snap caused thousands of homes in the GTA to have frozen water pipes. Some pipes remain frozen today. Frozen water supply lines in a house is caused by water pipes freezing in poorly or non insulated wall, floor or ceiling cavities. As the plumbing lines freeze, water supply stops. The expanding frozen water as well as water pressure build up behind the frozen area can cause plumbing lines to burst. These bursts can be in the form of a complete break or rupture or a small pin prick. Complete bursts may not be detectable until the temperature rises and the frozen lines thaw out. Small pin pricks may also not be detectable until the weather heats up. If your pipes are still frozen you may want to follow these few tips.

  • Try to find out where your water pipes may have the frozen blockage. It is likely in an outside wall or ceiling area that is exposed to the cold. Check the garage for a possible place.
  • Once you think you have found the area, heat it up.
  • Portable heaters should be used to heat up the area so the blockage can thaw.
  • You may want to actually turn off the water and bleed the plumbing lines to reduce the pressure on the blocked area.
  • Turn on all faucets to allow warm air to enter.
  • You could also turn up the furnace in the home to help thaw out the affected area.
  • Once the blockage has thawed, slowly turn the water back on at the water meter.
  • You will now want to monitor the affected area for any signs of water leaks.
  • Should you notice any dampness in walls, floors or ceilings, you will need to act fast.
  • The wet area should be cut open to ensure you can repair the damaged plumbing and to dry out the damp area.
  • When wall cavities get wet you have about 4 to 5 days to dry it out to prevent mold growth.If you’ve had this type of issue in the same area before you could have pre-existing mold growth. This is a more serious issue as you could spread mold spores when these walls are opened. This is a job for a professional mold remediation contractor.If your pipes were frozen but have now thawed, watch for the following:
    • Watch for water staining on walls and ceiling
    • Watch for paint bubbles or peeling paint
    • Watch for soggy drywall
    • Watch for a wet, damp or musty odour
    • Watch for mold spotting or actual mold growth.

Should any of these issue occur, you may have a plumbing burst inside the wall that may be leading to mold growth. We can assess your home for hidden water activity and hidden mold growth. Mold can cause serious health issues and structural problems if ignored. Call us today and we will be pleased to discuss your home in detail. We can help with you air quality and mold growth issues.

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