Call: (707) 570-0555 | Email:

restoration clean up

Tag Archives: pipes

Everything You Need to Know about Frozen Pipes

Everything You Need to Know about Frozen Pipes

We Californians don't normally have to worry about frozen pipes, so when we have to deal with them, such as when we have a vacation home in a place that endures winter weather, we may be unprepared to deal with things like frozen pipes. Read on to learn more about what frozen pipes are and how you can prevent or limit damage resulting from a pipe freeze.

Frozen pipes occur during winter months, when temperatures plummet below freezing. This impacts exposed or minimally protected pipes at risk, thanks to the unique nature of water, which expands when it freezes. The expansion of frozen water can compromise the integrity of the pipes it’s frozen in and can cause them to swell and burst.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Prevention is key to avoiding frozen pipes, and there are some proactive measures that you can take to keep pipes on your property from freezing.

First, you need to assess the location of your pipes. Many newer homes built in colder climates are designed with pipes toward the center of the home to avoid issues with exposure to cold air and eliminate the likelihood that they will freeze. However, there are plenty of homes with exposed pipes in crawlspaces and poorly insulated exterior walls.

Regardless of your setting, here are some practical tips you should consider for preventing frozen pipes:

  • Wrap – use foam insulation to wrap pipes and keep them insulated from fluctuating temperatures

  • Dome – use specially designed domes to cover outdoor connection points, such as spigots

  • Open doors – keep doors to kitchens and bathrooms with sinks open to allow warm air from the center of the home into these piped areas

  • Drip – during bitterly cold times, drip a faucet or two to keep water moving through the pipes to minimize the risk of a freeze

What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze

Even if you’ve done your due diligence, a bitterly cold day or an unexpected freeze during a family vacation may result in frozen pipes. To avoid issues associated with a pipe burst, try the following tips to mitigate the problem:

  • Run a faucet – running a faucet will tell you if you should suspect a frozen pipe by releasing only a trickle, rather than a full stream

  • Apply heat to the suspected frozen pipe, in order to try and break up the ice inside the pipe

    • Use a hair dryer, heating pad, or space heater to apply heat

    • NEVER use a blowtorch or any other flame in an attempt to warm a pipe

  • Continue to run water

  • If pressure is not restored, call a plumber to get professional help in alleviating the frozen pipe problem

With the right prevention and care in minding your home’s pipe, you can avoid the nasty side effects of a frozen pipe problem. And should you encounter an issue, you can follow some simple steps to solve the problem and restore water flow to your faucets.

Warning Signs Of A Sewer Pipe Damage

Warning Signs Of A Sewer Pipe Damage


If you can’t truthfully say that you’re a plumber or a professional of a related field, chances are you won’t know about the warning signs involved with having a pipe about to break or fail. It’s important as a homeowner or building manager for you to be able to recognize the signs of an impending sewage spill. Spotting it early can mean saving thousands of dollars, so it’s important to know the big signs.

Warning Signs Of An Impending Sewage Spill


Unexplainable Water Bills

This is actually perhaps the most telltale sign of a pipe breakage or need for repair. Your water bill gives a factual record of how much water you are using. Bill overages indicate a leak or a burst pipe. Most Pennsylvanians average a water bill around $40 a month, and if you find yourself with a bill $5-10 dollars more expensive in a month, you likely have a problem with one of your pipes.

Repulsive Odors

If you smell a foul odor in your home or building, then you likely have water damage internally that has allowed mold or mildew to form. The water buildup comes from a damaged pipe, and the foul odors from the stagnant water. If you are smelling odors like these and can’t find a source for it in your house, you need to get your system checked ASAP.

Poor Water Pressure and Flow

Water pressure in your home or building is another great indicator for pipe damage. If there is less flow, how much water is put out, in your sink, shower, etc., there is a leak somewhere in one of your pipes. Water pressure, rather, is how hard the water is pushed out, and variance here indicates an expanded or burst pipe.

Constant Clogging

Blockages may seem like a normal occurence in your household but they may spell trouble. These blockages can result in more serious damage, particularly if you have old or damaged pipes and the clog proves to be the tougher. If after thorough cleaning, you still experience clogs, you most likely have a broken pipe in your sewage system.

Damp Spots

Lastly, if you see damp spots that you know aren’t from a spill, especially on carpet, there’s likely existing damage that could lead to serious problems if not treated.

To learn more about water damage and repair services, visit us at or call us at (707) 570-0555.


5 Things to Do to Prevent Water Damage

For most people, the purchase of our home is the largest single expenditure we will make in our lifetime.  With the purchase price plus interest, the real cost of your home is often two or three times the original dollar amount.  The best thing a homeowner can do to protect their investment is to be on the lookout for possible problems that may damage their home.  One of the most insidious causes of home damage is water.  Water can work its way into many places unnoticed by the people living in it.  Unwanted water can rot out your home’s walls, floors, and roof, and can be a fertile breeding ground for molds and fungi. 

So what can homeowners do to prevent water damage from occurring in their homes?  The following five tips can help you greatly reduce the chances of water damage happening to you and your home:

1) Watch where you plant – Try to think ahead when you are planting trees or shrubs around your home.  Fast-growing varieties with extensive root systems can grow rapidly.  Invasive roots can easily cause damage to water pipes, sprinkler pipes, or sewer drains and septic systems.  Roots can also cause your home to shift, causing breaks or cracks in the exterior that allow rain or moisture into the walls.  Think about how large your tree or shrub will be in twenty years, and allow it room to grow.

2) Keep your gutters clear – If your roof gutters are full of debris, they can’t properly do their job.  Water from blocked gutters can spill over and go where you don’t want it.  This can lead to damage to your roof, walls, or foundation.  Make it a habit to clean your gutters every fall, or to have a professional do it for you.

3) Watch your bill – An easy way to identify if you have a water leak is to review your bill every month.  If your water system is leaking, your water bill will jump sharply up, showing you a drastic increase in water usage.  All water leaks have the potential to cause extensive damage to your home over time.

4) Use a snake, not chemicals – When you have blockages in your sink or shower drains, try to use a snake to clear the blockage.  The harsh chemicals used to bust through those pesky clogs may damage your pipes as well.  Frequent chemical use will eventually eat holes in your drain lines and cause water leaks that you probably won’t notice. 

5) No grease – Never pour grease into your sinks.  The grease will congeal as it cools and lead to blockages.  Hot water will not fix the problem.  Grease clogs are hard to clear up, even with a mechanical snake.  Do yourself a favor and make it a habit to pour your cooking grease into a can to cool, or scrape cold grease out of your pans into the garbage.

Your home is your largest investment.  Protect that investment from potential water damage by following these five helpful tips.  If you are unable to perform any of these necessary actions, consult a service professional for advice and assistance.