Plumbers warn thaw could lead to gushing pipes

Plumbers warn thaw could lead to gushing pipes. (WWMT/Ray Hole)

Plumbers in West Michigan warn some area homeowners will be sad to see the cold go away.

Temperatures were expected to reach 50 degrees by Mon., Feb. 4, 2019.

“Well, what’s going to happen is it’s going to get really warm, the pipes are going to thaw, and then it’s just going to gush out,” Tony Allen, a plumber with Whitney Plumbing & Electric, said. “You’re going have to shut your water off, that can cause damage in your house, to your floors, to your walls, your ceiling.”

Allen spent all day Friday, Feb. 1, fixing frozen pipes, which was the story of his entire week he said.

As good as the work was for business, Allen and his partner said the heavy workload was stressful.

How Much Does This All Cost?

Rich DuBois, an insurance agent with State Farm, said it's hard to give an average total cost of water damaged caused frozen pipes.

“We see anywhere from a small claim just barely over their deductible, to $30,000-$40,000 worth of water damage,” he said.

DuBois said frozen pipe damage would be covered under a home insurance policy and that homeowners would have to pay the deductible.

Renters insurance also covers damage to tenants personal belongings in pipes-bursting claims, according to DuBois. He said landlords are also covered.

DuBois provided a checklist of steps for homeowners and renters to follow should they notice water damage or frozen pipes in their homes:

  • Contact your insurance agent and they can assist you with proper steps to follow.
  • Maintain heat in the home and open cabinets to allow proper circulation.
  • Run the faucets in the home with a light trickle to allow the water to flow to slow the freezing process.
  • If the pipe bursts, shut the valve to the line off and call a professional plumber to repair the line.
  • If you have extensive water damage from a frozen pipe call a professional cleaning company to help with water extraction or mitigation. They have professional equipment and experience to help you through the cleanup. Places like, Servpro, ServiceMaster, Van Dam & Krusinga, Modernistic, Stanley steamer, and several others, have professional fans and dehumidifiers help the drying process.
  • These are covered claims under your homeowners insurance policy, a deductible applies. Both building and personal property items are covered from the water damage.

Allen said all these things are preventable if the pipes don't freeze in the first place.

“You can be very proactive. All you got to do is just YouTube, Google a lot of stuff. It can give you a lot of tips,” Allen said. “I mean you don’t have to be a plumber to be able to look at to something and be like, ‘OK, maybe this isn’t right.’”

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