Robert Weitz, a Certified Microbial Investigator and founder of Stamford-based RTK Environmental Group, offers excellent advice on how to prevent this disaster.
“Pipes freeze for a few main reasons – quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats set at too low a temperature,”
• Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic, since exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing;
• Seal spaces and openings that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located;
• A trickle of water can prevent your pipes from freezing. Open your faucet and let it drip;
• Don’t change the thermostat dramatically at night. Dropping it a degree or two is fine, but sudden drops in temperature can cause your pipes to freeze;
• Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls;
• Disconnect garden hoses, turn off the water supply valve inside, and keep the faucets open outside.
"If you open a faucet and no water comes out, don’t take any chances – call in a plumber to see what the story is," Weitz advises. If a water pipe bursts, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve and leave the faucet open. Try to dry out the area as quickly as possible.
"Damp and wet areas are prime locations for mold growth, which can blossom within 24 hours," he warns. Once the repairs are complete, have an independent certified microbial inspector come in to test the area and make sure there is no lingering mold.
For more tips and information on home repairs, renovations, mold, flooding, and more, visit http://www.rtkenvironmental.com/
About RTK Environmental Group
Based in Stamford, and serving all of Connecticut, southern New York State, and northern New Jersey, RTK Environmental Group leads the field of environmental testing and consulting in mold, lead, asbestos, water, soil, radon and indoor air quality testing. RTK offers XRF paint inspections, water testing, air testing, risk assessments, project monitoring, clearance testing, abatement planning, and training. It has provided testing services to more than 20,000 commercial and residential customers, ranging from homeowners and real estate investors to medical centers and housing authorities and many others. Company professionals are certified, licensed, and fully insured. The public is invited to visit RTK’s Web site, http://www.rtkenvironmental.com, or call 1-800-392-6468.