Recent Water Damage Posts

Annual Maintenance Checklist: Plumbing

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Annual Maintenance Checklist: Plumbing The p-trap is the U-shaped pipe under your sink. Make sure to check these frequently, as they can become clogged and cause drain back-ups.

As the seasons change and the weather gets warmer, it’s time to reevaluate the conditions of our homes and check each system to ensure proper functioning. Your plumbing system should be checked annually by either you or a professional plumber, depending on your expertise. The following tips will serve as a guide in your efforts to keep your plumbing system functioning properly and healthy.

  • Check the p-traps—the U-shaped pipes—under your sinks to prevent clogs. If it has debris or a clog, remove the p-trap and clean it out with a nylon brush.
  • Check all faucets and under your sinks for leaks or signs of leaks.
  • Check your showerhead for leaks or mineral buildups. If your showerhead has excessive leaking or mineral deposits, it may need to be replaced, or at least be cleaned with a special solution.
  • Check all visible piping throughout your house. Pipes with visible discoloration may have corrosion or other issues. Also check for mold or mildew, which can be a sign of small leaks. These should be inspected by a plumber and possibly replaced.
  • Test your garbage disposal to ensure it is functioning properly.
  • Make sure that your water heater is set to a safe and optimal temperature. Water temperature should be no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is safe for use and will ensure a longer water heater lifespan.

If you have water damage from a leaking pipe, or subsequent mold from water damage, call SERVPRO to make it “Like it never even happened.”

How To Use A Submersible Pump

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Use A Submersible Pump A submersible pump can keep rising water at bay and reduce the amount of damage to your home.

As we experience heavy rains here in the Quad Cities, SERVPRO receives an overflow of calls regarding water in basements. This may be due to seepage through the floor or foundation of your basement, or possibly a failed sump pump. Whatever the cause, water in your basement can lead to extensive water damage to your home and belongings, especially if you have a finished basement. For this reason, a submersible pump is a great product to keep on hand to slow the rising of water in your basement as it comes in, which will reduce the scope of damage, and to remove the remaining water once the rain or flooding has stopped. Once you have your submersible pump, it is important to follow a number of steps to ensure proper water removal. Below are tips on how to set up your pump:

  • Along with your pump you will need a hose. This is sometimes a simple garden hose, sump hose, or possibly one that comes with your pump. You will want to make sure you have a long enough hose to get from your pump to your drainage site.
  • Next you will need to connect the hose to your pump. Make sure that the connection is secure before starting your pump. Also consider that if the water you are removing is contaminated your hose may no longer be safe for other uses.
  • You will then be ready to plug and your pump and start removing the water from your basement. Be sure to submerge your pump in the deepest water within your home. This will help you avoid running the pump dry. It will also allow your pump to keep working until a majority of the water is removed, as some pumps have floats that will automatically shut the power off once the water has reached a certain level.
  • Keep an eye on your pump to make sure it is working properly. Also make sure that the area is free of debris to avoid clogs.

If you have water in your basement, call SERVPRO at 563-386-3540 to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Understanding Different Water Types

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

When your home or business suffers from a water damage, it is important to understand the type of water present to ensure proper clean-up. This is because there are 3 types, or categories, of water, each having its own safety distinction. Water is considered “clean”, or a category 1, when it comes from a broken pipe or rain. If you suffer a water damage from clean water, make sure to do the following things until help arrives:

  • Shut off your home or business water source, if possible.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas. However, only do this if it is safe, and do not enter rooms with standing water to avoid electric shock.
  • Once safe, try to clean up as much water as possible from floors and wipe down wood furniture.

Another water type is “gray water”, or category 2. Clean water can become gray water when it is left untreated, allowing bacteria and other contaminates to grow freely. This type of water is considered contaminated and hazardous. The 3rd water type is “black water”, or category 3, which is highly contaminated and filled with bacteria, fungi, chemicals, and more. This type of water is typically caused by sewage back up, flooding, or other types of natural disaster. Black water should be avoided and only handled by trained professionals. If you suffer a water damage from contaminated water, category 2 or 3, do the following things until help arrives:

  • Avoid making contact with gray or black water. Make sure to wash hands thoroughly after coming into contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through areas contaminated by gray or black water, as you may spread damage to other unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on HVAC system to avoid spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry contaminated water damage.
  • Do not keep any food that comes into contact with contaminated water.

For more information about water types, please contact your SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf water damage professionals at 563-386-3540.

Steps to Help Prevent Frozen Pipes

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

1/25/2019

You wake up on a cold winter morning, head into the bathroom or kitchen, turn the faucet and … a trickle. Or, nothing at all.

You have a frozen pipe. What do you do now? Better yet, how do you avoid this messy, potentially expensive situation in the first place?

Here are some ideas to help keep the water flowing inside, even as the freeze sets in outside:

Before It Gets Cold

  • Drain water supply lines to your sprinkler and swimming pool. Don't put antifreeze in the lines; spills or leaks can threaten pets, wildlife and landscaping.
     
  • Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses before putting them in storage. Place an inexpensive foam cover over the faucet. Better yet, close the inside valves that supply water to the hose bibs. Then open the outside hose bibs to let any remaining water drain out, and leave them open.
     
  • Insulate water pipes with pipe sleeves, heat tape or heat cable, particularly pipes that run through unheated areas of the house, such as attics, basements, crawl spaces and garages.

As Temperatures Drop

  • Keep your house warm, and allow the warm air to circulate as much as possible. Seal drafts and keep interior doors open. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period, don’t turn off the heat. Keep it set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
     
  • Open cabinet doors under kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow heat to reach the pipes. Be sure to move cleaners and other chemicals out of reach of children and pets.
     
  • Open indoor faucets, hot and cold, to allow a trickle of water. Flowing water is less likely to freeze.

When a Pipe Freezes

  • The first thing to do, faced with the telltale trickle, is try to find where the pipe is frozen. Keep the faucet open, and open other faucets in the house to determine if the problem is widespread. If it is, turn off the main water supply and call a plumber.
     
  • If it's a single pipe, and you can reach the frozen section, try using a hair dryer, heating pad or portable space heater – just never leave it running unattended. Keep the faucet open and work up and down the pipe, starting at the faucet and working backward to the frozen section. Apply heat until full water pressure returns, then reduce the flow to a trickle until the cold snap ends.
     
  • An alternative method: Wrap the frozen section with towels soaked in hot water. Don't pour hot water directly on a frozen pipe, and don't use a propane torch or other open flame.

If these approaches don't work, or if you have a leaking or burst pipe, don't hesitate to turn off the main water supply and call in a licensed plumber. And, be sure to touch base with your insurance agent, too, preferably before a crisis. You'll want to know whether you're covered for burst pipes and the ensuing water damage

Water, Water, Everywhere

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

1/25/2019

Water and moisture can cause both structural and content damage when unnoticed.  Even a small leak, left untreated, can lead to big loses. 

Because mold growth can begin in less than 48 hours, water damage should be handled by trained professionals who have the equipment and knowledge to treat the situation, regardless of the size.

If you experience a water situation there are some things you can do until help arrives;

  • Shut off the source of the water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas when access to the power distribution panel is safe from shock.
  • Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe water from wood furniture and remove from the wet area, if possible, otherwise place aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Remove from walls or wet areas all items that are valuable or sensitive to moisture - i.e. paintings, art objects, computers, documents, etc.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet flooring.

If you have experienced water damage in recent months, call the professionals at SERVPRO Davenport/Bettendorf to access your situation and provide fast, effective clean up.

What you need to know about flooded basements

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Davenport, Bettendorf, Muscatine or Clinton basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - (563) 386-3540

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (563) 386-3540

Do’s and Don’ts of drying out clean water in home or business

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

The following are a few helpful tips on action you or your family can follow until SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf arrives:

DO

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting or hardwood floors.
  • Open and place luggage in sunlight to dry, if possible.

DON’T

  • Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible.
  • Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors.
  • Use TV’s or other household appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.

Take the proper precautions when dealing with water damage. Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. Your local SERVPRO professionals have the training and equipment to help make it, “Like it never even happened.” Call us at (563) 386-3540.

Who to call for a water damage

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Who to call for a water damage Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas.

SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

Whether storms hit Davenport, Bettendorf, Muscatine, or Clinton, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 563-386-3540

How to manage damage from clean water or damage from contaminated water

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Damage from clean water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so
  • Turn off circuit breakers from wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from contaminated water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO Davenport/Bettendorf at (563) 386-3540.

Water, water everywhere

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Water and moisture can cause both structural and content damage when unnoticed.  Even a small leak, left untreated, can lead to big loses. 

Because mold growth can begin in less than 48 hours, water damage should be handled by trained professionals who have the equipment and knowledge to treat the situation, regardless of the size.

If you experience a water situation there are some things you can do until help arrives;

  • Shut off the source of the water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas when access to the power distribution panel is safe from shock.
  • Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe water from wood furniture and remove from the wet area, if possible, otherwise place aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Remove from walls are wet area all items that are valuable or sensitive to moisture. e. – Paintings, art objects, computers, documents, etc.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet flooring.

If you have experienced water damage in recent months, call the professionals at SERVPRO Davenport/Bettendorf to access your situation and provide fast, effective clean up.

You Can Protect Your Property with Water Preventative Tools

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Undetected water can cause a great deal of damage to a building structure and contents.  To prevent this type of disaster a home or business owner can install water detection systems.  Water leak detection systems help identify leaks which, in some circumstances, can help prevent a flood. Water monitoring systems are generally activated at the first sign of excess moisture or seepage resulting from a leak.

Water Alarms:  Water alarms also known as leak sensors are typically battery-operated stand-alone systems contacting a moisture sensor that will activate an audible alarm when moisture is detected.  Benefits of water alarms are accessibility and price.  They are fairly inexpensive and easy to install.

Water Systems:  While most water alarms simply notify you of a leak, water systems will actually shot off the water supply causing water damage.  The downside to water systems is that they only  apply to water caused by an appliance or water supply and do not  cover water that occurs from rain, broken pipes or or sump pump failure.

Leak Prevention Tips

Regularly check the following items for leaks:

  • Check roofing for deterioration.
  • Check gutters and downspouts for blockage.
  • Check basements and crawl space for moisture.
  • Check under and around appliances.
  • Check sinks and toilets.
  • Check HVAC for leaks and blockage.

If you suspect you have suffered a water damage—past or present, call SERVPRO Davenport/Bettendorf for fast, courteous and knowledgeable service.  563-386-3540

TIME IS MONEY

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

The old adage is never more true than when dealing with a water-damaged home or business.  Every minute matters, because every minute the property remains wet could turn primary damage into serious damage—or even permanent damage.  That’s why emergency response matters.

Floods, broken pipes and leaks don’t abide by the 9-to-5 workday.  So why should your restoration provider?  SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with state of the art equipment and proven methods to get the job done quickly and effectively.

If you find water creeping into your life, pick up the phone and call your local SERVPRO.  Their highly trained professionals can help you avoid the cost and inconvenience of serious and permanent damage to your home and possessions.  Call SERVPRO Davenport/Bettendorf at 563-386-3540—we’re faster to any size disaster.

If Your Home's Sump Pump Fails, SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf Can Help!

6/21/2017 (Permalink)

Sump pumps are a very important feature to any home. Without getting technical, and to make a long story short, Sump Pumps keep your basement dry. When heavy rains hit, the pump kicks in and take water away from your home. It is extremely important to discuss your pump's coverage with your insurance agent, because sometimes these pumps can fail and cause damage to your home.

A power outage, from a storm for instance, can cause your pump to fail which could result in a flooded basement. SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf have seen too many sump pump failures to count. We can't service your pump, but we can help clean up when a pump malfunction damages your basement.  

If your Davenport, Bettendorf, Muscatine or Clinton home has a flooded basement due to sump pump failure call SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf at (563) 386-3540.

Faster to your Davenport, Bettendorf, Clinton, or Muscatine Water Damage Event

12/9/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Faster to your Davenport, Bettendorf, Clinton, or Muscatine Water Damage Event SERVPRO of Davenport/ Bettendorf provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Davenport, Bettendorf, Clinton and Muscatine.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (563) 386-3540

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf

SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Davenport/Bettendorf 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

8/3/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Davenport/Bettendorf 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Davenport, Bettendorf, and surrounding areas.

SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (563) 386-3540

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf

SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Melting Snow

2/17/2016 (Permalink)

The image of snow piled up against a house, or a gutter blocked with ice is not a common warning sign for homeowners. However if you have a basement or a crawlspace you are at serious risk for water damage when the temperature rises rapidly after a big storm.

These tips can help you keep melting snow from damaging your home.

Before the warm weather comes –

  • Keep the perimeter of your house clear of snow and ice. This snow sitting against the foundation will slowly get into the concrete and expand when cold weather comes again. Slowly creating little pathways that may lead to the inside of your house.
  • Shovel out window wells and vents. Water will find a way into any opening or crack; these are natural spots for a leak to occur. If you have covers over egress windows, clear them off as snow will start to get very heavy as it melts.

When the weather gets warm

  • Clear out ice jams in gutters.  When water overflows out of the gutter it can run down the side of your house and into any penetration or seam that isn’t sealed.  Keeping the water in the gutter is a safer bet. If the jam is at the top of the downspout, be sure you can safely reach the gutters to clear them out.
  • Keep walkways clear of ice. As the snow melts, it will likely move onto areas you have previously cleared off. As it freezes again, it will create a sheet of ice almost as well as a Zamboni machine. You can use a number of tools including salt, sand, de-icer or even just a shovel or ice scraper. Keep in mind salts and de-icers can damage your concrete if left to melt on the surface, and they may contain chemicals that may be harmful to grass, plants, or pets.
  • Keep a close eye. Be sure you are watching for signs in areas that could be damaged. These signs can include a damp smell, wet carpet, walls that are peeling or bowing, or a dripping sound in exterior walls.

After the weather warms up

  • Pay attention to what your house tells you. After the snow has cleared and you are getting ready for spring projects, you can still be at risk for water damage. The freezing and thawing may cause breaks to your water or sprinkler lines. If you have any loss in pressure you should get it looked at.
  • Look for signs of problems that can be fixed. Water damage can take a while to become visible, so watch for signs that will help you prepare for next winter.
    • Do you need to add a downspout where the gutter overflows?
    • Should you add extensions to your downspouts to get water away from the house?
    • Is there siding damage next to an area where the water drips?

Steps to Help Prevent Frozen Pipes

2/8/2016 (Permalink)

You wake up on a cold winter morning, head into the bathroom or kitchen, turn the faucet and … a trickle. Or, nothing at all.

You have a frozen pipe. What do you do now? Better yet, how do you avoid this messy, potentially expensive situation in the first place?

Here are some ideas to help keep the water flowing inside, even as the freeze sets in outside:

Before It Gets Cold

  • Drain water supply lines to your sprinkler and swimming pool. Don't put antifreeze in the lines; spills or leaks can threaten pets, wildlife and landscaping.
     
  • Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses before putting them in storage. Place an inexpensive foam cover over the faucet. Better yet, close the inside valves that supply water to the hose bibs. Then open the outside hose bibs to let any remaining water drain out, and leave them open.
     
  • Insulate water pipes with pipe sleeves, heat tape or heat cable, particularly pipes that run through unheated areas of the house, such as attics, basements, crawl spaces and garages.

As Temperatures Drop

  • Keep your house warm, and allow the warm air to circulate as much as possible. Seal drafts and keep interior doors open. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period, don’t turn off the heat. Keep it set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
     
  • Open cabinet doors under kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow heat to reach the pipes. Be sure to move cleaners and other chemicals out of reach of children and pets.
     
  • Open indoor faucets, hot and cold, to allow a trickle of water. Flowing water is less likely to freeze.

When a Pipe Freezes

  • The first thing to do, faced with the telltale trickle, is try to find where the pipe is frozen. Keep the faucet open, and open other faucets in the house to determine if the problem is widespread. If it is, turn off the main water supply and call a plumber.
     
  • If it's a single pipe, and you can reach the frozen section, try using a hair dryer, heating pad or portable space heater – just never leave it running unattended. Keep the faucet open and work up and down the pipe, starting at the faucet and working backward to the frozen section. Apply heat until full water pressure returns, then reduce the flow to a trickle until the cold snap ends.
     
  • An alternative method: Wrap the frozen section with towels soaked in hot water. Don't pour hot water directly on a frozen pipe, and don't use a propane torch or other open flame.

If these approaches don't work, or if you have a leaking or burst pipe, don't hesitate to turn off the main water supply and call in a licensed plumber. And, be sure to touch base with your insurance agent, too, preferably before a crisis. You'll want to know whether you're covered for burst pipes and the ensuing water damage