Frozen Pipes and Winter Water Damage

Frozen Pipes and Winter Water Damage

Frozen Pipes & Winter Water Damage by Metrix Restoration

Winter weather brings an added element of difficulty & danger to water damage restoration claims.  We all can understand how each flood or water damage cleanup comes with both general & special needs.

In this article we will highlight how winter weather affects water damage restoration operations, the most common causes of winter water damage & what you can do to protect your home.

Making water pipe maintenance a priority this winter is a good idea, especially if the climate of your area sustains temperatures of freezing or below.  Cracked & Busted Pipes due to freezing temperature is cited by most insurance adjustors and water damage restoration professionals as the #1 cause of residential water damage during winter, according to R. Noel, GM of Flood Metrix in Stafford, VA.

“Of course, roof leaks and ceiling damage caused by ice dams are also very common throughout the water damage industry in areas with longer winter seasons and heavy snow fall, but busted pipes still rank #1 in Northern VA, District of Columbia & Southern MD.”

How Frozen Pipes Cause Water Damage

The physical materials of your home are under constant “attack” by its surrounding environment.  Most homeowners understand that weather in general can affect the structural integrity of their home, and still never consider how nature itself is a natural “stress factor” affecting their home on a day-to-day basis.

Temperature differentials in air currents, air pressure, convection are each invisible factors of winter water damage, unnoticeable to the naked eye.

During winter temperatures can remain at freezing or below for weeks and months at a time.  In such climates freezing rains, icy wind chills and snow become like “military special force units” making structures more susceptible to flooding and water damage.

The good news is that keeping your home in good condition with up-to-date maintenance is the best defense against winter water damage.  In fact, keeping your home reasonably heated is enough to prevent frozen pipes from busting & causing water damage/flooding.

Energy.gov recommends an average inside temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unoccupied homes are much more susceptible to flooding due to frozen/busted pipes when compared to homes which are occupied with regular home maintenance.  One reason for this is that unoccupied homes are also more likely to have colder inside temperatures.

Additionally, unoccupied homes are more likely to behind on routine maintenance.  When you combine cold temperatures with points of direct exposure to water pipes, freezing becomes a scientific certainty.

Frozen water obstructs and water flow and multiplies pressure per square in throughout pipes until they crack or bust.  The chances of this happening begin to increase exponentially when temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit and below.

Water damage restoration companies must then use additional specialty drying equipment including directed heat, adding to the financial costs of flood damage.

 

 

Melting Snow & Water Damage

Everyone loves the beauty of freshly fallen snow, but nobody loves the water damage melting snow can cause. Drain backup and overflows are common due to melting snow.

The ground becomes heavily saturated while sewer systems are flooded with melting snow on top of its normal capacity.  For tips to help prevent water damage see our related article on water damage prevention.

Ice Dams and Roof Leaks

Busted pipes may be the most likely source of winter water damage, but there is a second most common source.  This source doesn’t begin with rain, snow or cold but with cluttered gutters.  When gutters are obstructed, water can’t drain off the roof of a house properly.  During winter months, water trapped in gutters along with debris freeze and combine with icicles to create “ice dams”.   Although ice dams are not typically responsible for flood damage, but slow leak water damage and mold are both closely related.  Regular gutter maintenance can reduce the likeliness of ice dams forming and prevent any resulting water damage.

Outdoor Water Outlets

Outdoor water outlets aka “water spigots” should be insulated and secured during winter months.  Corresponding hoses should be disconnected, drained & stored to prevent damage.  As these outlets are connected to water pipes, the main & lower level of these homes are at higher risk to flooding, water & mold damage. 

If you do experience water damage this winter, call the experts at Flood Metrix. Our professional water mitigation teams are here 24/7/365 to move you from Stress to Satisfaction after a flood or water damage.  Choose Metrix over the Matter Because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix.

Check out the top causes of busted pipes and tips to prevent water damage.

Water Damage and Hardwood Floors

Will insurance replace water damaged hardwood floors?

In general, water damage restoration companies will not pull-out hardwood floors, kitchen cabinets, tile floors or bathroom tubs without the claims adjuster’s approval. Industry standard is for water damage companies to attempt to salvage such materials before they are declared unsalvageable.  This is all a part of the water damage insurance claims process.  Before your claims adjuster buys you brand new hardwood floors, he or she needs to document the FACT of their unsalvageable water damage.

After hardwood floors have been dried, they must also be allowed time to re-acclimate. The re-acclimation period ranges from 30-60 days.  It is not the job of the water damage restoration professional to determine whether or not hardwood floors are salvageable, that is the job of a flooring expert. Once the floors are dry, your insurance company will send out a vender to make a recommendation to refinish or replace the floors.

Keep in mind, the water damage flooring expert does not want to risk refinishing your floors if they are not 99% sure that they can make your damaged floors look brand new again.  Going through the water damage claims process can take time & cause stress, but you can trust Flood Metrix to explain this process and provide clear, accurate insight every step of the way.  The following notes are from a real flood damage claim.

 

Conversation with Water Damage Claims Adjuster

These notes have been prepared to summarize our conversation with regards to a recent water damage restoration flood claim.  After successfully drying the affected floors, visible water damage, specifically cupping, has been noted.  At the insurance adjustors request, the affected hardwood floors have been scheduled for removal.  We will remove the affected areas included in the water removal/cleanup portion of this project only & shall bill service with Xactimate WTR lines items.

Flood Damage Project Notes

The hardwood floor drying effort of this flood damage project was a success.  After an estimated 36 hours of flooding, the saturation levels of all affected hardwood floors had increased to an average of 45 out of 100.  The highest floor saturation reading taken was 63.  Please note that hardwood flooring is generally considered saturated once moisture content levels reach a reading of 21 & above.

            Advanced structural drying equipment was used to help dry the flooded basement, flooded kitchen level & flooded bathroom levels.  All water damaged areas of this flood damage cleanup project started with an average humidity above 70% with an indoor in door temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  Three negative pressure floor drying systems, directed heat, & 1 inflatable heat mat were used in combination with multiple air movers and dehumidifiers to achieve our dry goal.

Within 4 days we were able to restore over 90% of the water damaged floors to a moisture content level of 16.  Additionally, we were able to manipulate temperatures to 95 degrees and back down to 70 while decreasing relative humidity to an average of 45%. Equipment was then employed to salvage water damaged kitchen cabinets and affected wall cavities.

10 Reasons to hire a Water Damage Restoration Company

10 Reasons to hire a Water Damage Restoration Company

Top ten reasons to hire Flood Metrix for water damage restoration projects.

Customer Experience

The Flood Metrix mission is to move a customer from Stress to Satisfaction.  This includes more than just fixing the emergency flood damage, but also carries over into respecting our customers’ SPECIFIC needs & making sure the customer still feels like they matter, even after the job is complete.

Quality Assurance

At Flood Metrix we believe that water damage and mold remediation are not the kind of services where careless mistakes are allowed.  We rely on systems and science to serve our customers in the most professional and efficient manner possible.

Reputation

Flood Metrix is top rated with a 5 Star review average.  We are A rated with the better business bureau and preferred by most insurance carriers for water damage claims.

Organization

Flood Metrix is an LLC servicing Northern VA & Southern MD.  We carry all required licensing & insurance.  Our staff is uniformed & our vehicles are marked.

Credentials

Khonsol Badu is the owner & operator of Flood Metrix and is an IICRC Certified Master water damage professional with over 15 years of experience.

State of the art equipment

Flood Metrix uses advanced structural drying, water extraction, restoration, and documentation processes.

Insurance Preferred Vendor

We accept most property owners’ insurance & offer preferred vendor pricing.

All in 1 service provider

Flood Metrix offers emergency plumbing, water damage restoration, mold remediation, carpet cleaning, air duct cleaning and reconstruction services.

Service Guarantee

Flood Metrix offers a written service guarantee.

Price Match Guarantee

Flood Metrix offer a written price match guarantee.

BONUS REASON: Customer Rewards Program

How much does water damage restoration cost?

How much does water damage restoration cost?

How much doesWater Damage Restoration cost?

Below is a list of 11 factors affecting the cost of water damage restoration.

  • All water removal services are classified as “emergency services”

In Northern VA and Southern Maryland, the Xactimate standard emergency water removal fee is $185 during normal business hours and increases after 5pm.  Other price factors may include service zip code and emergency availability.  The use of water removal pump, weighted water extraction, hard surface water removal versus soft surface water removal are all determining factors of water damage restoration costs.

  • Invasive or non-invasive inspection

Most FREE inspections include a non-invasive investigation of water damage.  Non-invasive water damage inspections are visual inspections and include the use of specialized water detection equipment.  Invasive inspections include the cutting away & removal of wet or water damage materials to inspect.

  • Project Management

Water damage restoration project management fees include line items such as the creation of reports & travel time to pick up water damage repair items.

  • Difficulty Level of project preparation

This factor includes the need for content manipulation, floor protection, containment, & confinement of water damaged area.

  • Category of water

Category 1 (Clean Water) – “Clean Water” refers to wastewater that is still considered safe for consumption because there are no contaminants present that could pose any immediate threat. Category 1 wastewater comes from a clean source like a broken water line or leaky faucet. If left untreated, Category 1 can degrade into Category 2 or 3 when exposed to other contaminants.

Category 2 (Gray Water) – “Gray Water” is the type of wastewater generated in households or buildings that is not contaminated by any toilet discharge. However, it already contains bacteria and viruses that could easily cause an illness or discomfort. Gray water comes from showers, laundry water, bathwater, basin overflow, and more. Category 2 wastewater can quickly degrade into Category 3 when left untreated.

Category 3 (Black Water) – “Black Water” is the type of wastewater with a very high concentration of contaminants like fecal matter and urine. Extended exposure or accidental consumption of Category 3 wastewater may result in serious illnesses or even death. This is the reason why it is crucial to call a qualified professional to handle black water cleanup as quickly as possible.

  • Equipment Requirements

Water damage restoration equipment, monitoring, setup and break down is a significant part of water damage restoration cleanup projects.  Equipment is charged per piece, per day.  An equipment decontamination fee may also be included in this water restoration cost category.

  • Use of specialty equipment

Specialty equipment is the most expensive water damage cleanup equipment to run.  Specialty equipment includes items such as: hard wood floor drying equipment, directed heat, and air flow injection equipment.

  • Demolition & Decontamination

The demolition and decontamination measures of a water damage project are related to the “class and category” of the water mitigation.  Category 3 water damage is the most expensive water damage category.

  • Disposal

Disposal line items include dump runs which average $135 each & dumpster rental fees.  Included in dumpster renter fee are the dumpster itself and the tonnage of water damage cleanup waste.  This fee is usually around $85/per each additional ton.

  • Post Mitigation Analysis

Post water damage mitigation clearance testing fees average $350-$550.  Many times the fee for this service may be waved.   Ask a Flood Metrix representative for details.

  • Final Cleanup

Final cleanup is broken into two major groups, commercial & residential.  This fees included here are breaking down containment, floor protection and the final “construction cleanup”.

What does water damage restoration include?

What does water damage restoration include?

What is the Metrix Water Damage Restoration Process?

Providing as much information as possible about a basement flood or water damage cleanup is critical to time management and efficiency.  Important information to report is: is the electricity working, how many levels & rooms are affected, are the water damaged areas furnished or empty, what kind of flooring is affected, have any “contents” or personal property been water damaged, insurance adjusters’ contact information and any special conditions or health concerns are each valuable insight.

 

  • Water Damage Scheduling & Service Agreement

Once you have agreed to have a technician come out to begin water damage restoration or to provide a FREE Water damage cleanup estimate, a NO OBLIGATION contract will be sent to you via text or email.  The agreement gives Metrix personnel permission to enter your property and limits liability.  The agreement does not bind you.

  • Speedy Arrival

Our average arrival time to an emergency water removal is between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

  • A-Z help Filing Your Water Damage Insurance Claim. 

We will help you determine if filling an insurance claim is right for your water damage cleanup or if self-pay is your best option.  If filling a water damage claim is necessary, we will walk you through the process each step of the way.  Your deductible will be collected at the start, unless deferred to the reconstruction portion of your project.

 

  • Thorough water damage restoration assessment

The initial water damage cleanup evaluation will be performed by an IICRC certified water damage professional.  We will employ sophisticated tools such as: thermal imaging, 3D virtual imaging cameras, borescopes & thermal hydrometers.  We will document inside/outside the home or office, affected/non-affected areas, as well as personal property damage.

Once we have completed our initial water damage “information & fact-finding phase”, complete with photos, videos, sketches, measurement, project concerns and risks; we will then begin to “prep” for water removal services.  This phase includes actions such: as laying floor protection, rearranging contents & setting up containment if needed.  For safety & liability, you will not be allowed in the work zone unless cleared by the project manager.  In most cases this last until the drying phase begins, usually with 24-72 hours from start time.

  • Water Removal Services

The key to a success water damage restoration project is water removal.  Flood Metrix uses state of the art water extraction equipment.  We are capable of drying hard wood floors, cabinets, ceramic tile, wall cavities & wet saturated carpet and padding with our weighted sub-surface water extractors and more.

  • Demo & Decontamination

It is our goal to salvage and restore your flooded basement or water damage property, not tear it apart.  Unfortunately, not everything can be saved.  All unsalvageable material & contents will be bagged for disposal.  No important documents, family photos, heirlooms will be discarded without your approval.  All salvageable material and contents shall be treated per IICRC standards.

  • Dehumidification & Structural Drying

Standard and specialty drying equipment will be strategically setup throughout the water damaged area for maximum drying speed.  Standard dry time is 72 hours, but water damaged cabinets and hardwood floors may take 3-9 days.  Equipment will be monitored regularly and adjusted as needed.

During this phase your service water damage cleanup service invoice will generated & shall not include any part of the reconstruction fees.  Your insurance provider will categorize payments as: water mitigation, contents & construction.  Trust that you will have direct access to your project manager & that we will provide copies of all project details to both you and your water damage adjuster.

  • Final Cleanup and Post Water Mitigation Clearance

This phase includes breaking down equipment, containment & cleaning carpet or upholstery that has been previously treated and now has dried.  The final work area cleanup is a “good construction cleanup” & not a “white glove maids deep clean”.  Our effort is focused specifically to the areas effected by the water loss & may not include all areas of a zone per IICRC S500 and S520.

You matter & we at Metrix Restoration value the relationship we have with you and look forward to its continued develop.  Your water damage restoration project is backed by the Metrix Service Guarantee, so you can be worry free.  We know you may never have another water damage cleanup, but your relationship is valuable to us, which is why we offer more than just water & flood damage restoration.  Our focus is never just a “quick buck” but is steadily focused on developing long and fruit customer relationships.

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