Water Damage Emergencies Happen...How to Handle Them

Water damage emergencies happen -- here is some info to help you prepare and combat these frustrations!
By: Erika Herman
Jan. 6, 2010 - PRLog -- As if slippery sidewalks and cold cars aren’t bad enough during the winter, you face another potential headache: ruined carpets, water damage to your ceilings and walls, not to mention your personal property from leaks caused by bursting pipes. You can avoid the resulting aggravation and expense by taking several basic steps right now to prevent this kind of damage.

Freezing Pipes
Frozen water in pipes can cause water pressure buildup between the ice blockage and the closed faucet at the end of a pipe, which leads to pipes bursting at their weakest point. Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are particularly vulnerable to freezing in extremely cold weather, where holes in your houses outside wall for television, cable or telephone lines allow cold air to reach them.

To keep water in pipes from freezing, take the following steps:

Fit exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping to slow the heat transfer. The more insulation the better.
Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes with caulking.
Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells to allow warm air to circulate around pipes (particularly in the kitchen and bathroom).
Keeps a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets connected to pipes that run through an unheated or unprotected space. You can even drain the water system, especially if your house will be unattended during cold periods.
Cover all outside hose faucets.

Know Your Water Supply

Know where shutoff valves for the main water supply, certain appliances, sinks and toilets are located in your home. In the event of a leak, this will enable you to quickly shut off the appropriate valves before calling Cornerstone Chem-Dry.   Consider shutting off your water supply if you will be away from home for a week or more.

Inspect your plumbing water lines and waste lines for leaks, damage or corrosion. If you notice problems, hire a licensed plumber for further inspection and repairs.

Protecting Your Home from Water Damage

Water Loss Mitigation Devices. Water damage can occur almost anywhere in your home. Frozen water lines as well as water-bearing appliances and fixtures, such as refrigerators with icemakers, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets and water heaters, are common sources of water leaks. The number of these sources in today's homes has led to an increased risk of water damage.

Unfortunately, slow leaks from these appliances and fixtures are often impossible to see until it is too late. If a leak goes undetected, it can lead to rotting in the house frame and subfloors and can be a precursor to a catastrophic leak that releases several hundred gallons of water. Water loss mitigation devices may help prevent these problems, while also saving you money on your homeowner’s insurance premium.

Passive Leak Detectors. Passive leak detection systems are intended to alert you to a water leak. They generally sound an alarm tone within the home when a leak is detected. More advanced products may be connected to a centrally monitored fire and burglar alarm system, alerting you if a leak is detected - even when you are away from the home.

Passive leak detectors are helpful, but they do not provide the best method of protection from water leaks. The effectiveness of these systems depends on someone being in your home to take immediate action to stop the leak.

Active Leak-Detection Systems. Active leak-detection systems provide a more comprehensive solution. These systems not only alert you of a leak, but also stop the water flow before it can cause significant damage to your home. These devices are typically installed on your home's main water supply line and instantly shut off water flow once a leak is detected. The leak detection methods vary by product but typically include the detection of higher or longer-than-average water usage and/or the use of small sensors placed near areas that are more prone to water leaks, such as a hot water heater, appliances or under sinks.

Active leak-detection systems can be quite sophisticated. They may offer sensitivity variables such as "at home" and "away" modes that affect the speed in which they respond. They can allow for sprinkler systems or other water-use-intensive systems and do not infringe on your water consumption preferences, such as taking long showers. In addition, active leak-detection systems can be connected to a "smart home" system and/or centrally monitored alarm system, which could alert you when you are away from home. Generally, active leak-detection systems start at $500 and can cost as much as several thousand dollars, depending upon the product features, labor rates, and size of the system.

If a water damage emergency happens to you:

Call Cornerstone Chem-Dry at 877-760-4377 immediately. Our trained and certified water damage technicians are on call 24/7 and will be dispatched immediately. We service Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, Collin and Tarrant Counties.

Shut off the water source.

Move furniture off of carpet to avoid furniture stains.

Call your homeowner’s insurance company to start a claim if the damage is extensive.  Remember most homeowner’s policies have a deductible equal to 1-2% of your home value.

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Carpet , upholstery and area rug cleaning experts. Also offer carpet repairs, tile cleaning, leather cleaning, pet odor removal and water damage restoration. Serving Dallas, Denton, Collin, Rockwall and Tarrant counties.
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