Frozen Pipes & Mold: Quick Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

December 6, 2017 • Maintenance Tips, Prevention
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New Jersey winters can be a dangerous time for your pipes. As temperatures begin to drop in your South Jersey region, your pipes could be at risk of cracking and rupturing if you are not careful. But do not worry, frozen pipes are not completely inevitable. As a Southern New Jersey homeowner, you have the opportunity to keep your pipes from freezing during the cooler months. If weather reports indicate an extreme drop in temperature, you should set aside some time to prepare your NJ home to prevent frozen pipes.

Unlike most materials that contract with drops in temperature, water’s unique properties causes it to expand when it freezes. Without proper preparation, dropping temperatures can freeze the water in your pipes, and the extreme pressure will likely force your pipes to burst. If a pipe freezes, bursts and introduces water into your indoor environment, your property can be left vulnerable to mold development. Best practice is to keep your pipes from freezing in the first place. As we head into the winter months, preventative maintenance throughout your home in essential to avoiding frozen pipes and potential mold risks.


Quick Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes in New Jersey

The following is a list of some quick and easy tips to prevent frozen pipes as temperatures begin to drop. Most preventative tactics are easy and inexpensive, but it will require some time and attention. Taking the time to prepare your home will help to avoid serious and costly damage further down the line.

Pipe Insulation

Exposed pipes may be more vulnerable to freezing than others depending on the location of the pipe. Exposed pipes located in unheated spaces (i.e: attic, crawl space, garage, etc.), within exterior walls and/or on the exterior of the home are especially susceptible to freezing. Installing insulation around your pipes will help to prevent them from freezing.

Thermostat Settings: 

Set your thermostat to the same temperature during the day and at night to help maintain consistent warmth for your plumbing. Do not shut off your thermostat if you are going away. If you and your family plan to go away during the winter, leave the heat running at a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit in your absence. 

Faucet Drip:

Turn on your faucets ever so slightly to allow a slow drip. It will reduce the pressure buildup in your pipes and keep the water moving. This will reduce the likelihood of water freezing within your pipes. Even a slight trickle will make a difference.

Open Cabinet Doors:

During the evening or when you are away from your home, keep cabinets in your kitchen and in your bathroom with plumbing inside (i.e: under sinks) open. It will increase circulation of warmer air to the plumbing behind the cabinets.  If you store cleaners and/or chemicals in your cabinets, be sure to move them to a safe location and out of reach of children and pets.

Water to Exterior Sources:

Turn off the water supply (at the water valve) to any exterior faucets. Once the water it shut off, turn the faucets on and leave them open so any residual water can drain out before it has the opportunity to freeze in your pipes. Disconnect your outdoor hoses.

Close Garage Doors: 

Keep your garage doors closed. Especially if your water heater or any water supply lines are in your garage, you need to keep the cold air out and keep warmer air in to maintain a warmer temperature. This goes for any space that holds the water heater and/or water supply lines. 

Prepare your home for your absence: 

If you and your family plan on being away during cold weather, leave the heat running at a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Before leaving for your home for extended periods of time, you should set aside some time to properly prepare your New Jersey home for your absence and prevent home water damage during your vacation.


Frozen Pipes and Mold Growth In South Jersey

If you discover a frozen or ruptured pipe, it needs to addressed as soon as possible. Once a moisture source has been introduced to the environment, mold can start to grow and spread within 24 to 48 hours. Make every effort to thoroughly dry out the area as soon as possible. If some areas cannot be dried within that time frame, the risk of mold development and additional water damage greatly increases. In some cases, mold and the moisture left behind may not be visible to the casual observer. If you are concerned about mold due to delayed or extended drying times, contact a trained professional to properly assess the situation and get to the bottom of any potential problems.

Hidden and unaddressed mold development from a water intrusion event, like a frozen or burst pipe, can mean serious damage and costly repairs. Early detection and immediate response can save you and your family a great deal of stress and avoid more damage. A trained and certified mold inspector in South Jersey will be able to get to the bottom of how the water has affected that space and identify if a moisture source is still present and contributing to mold development. Through mold testing, your inspector will be able to gather enough information to determine if there is an elevated presence of mold in your home that needs to be addressed through professional mold remediation. A professional mold remediation company in Southern New Jersey will be able to safely and effective remove any mold caused by a frozen pipe.


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