Got Water Pipes?

Consider the following scenario. A homeowner was stationed overseas. His home was leased and a property manager was caring for the property. The tenants left the home, telling the property manager that they left the heat on. The property manager left town, and when he returned, this is what he found:

When freezing, water has the peculiar property of expanding. The water pipes under the first floor had several breaks in them due to this expansion. The local water authority had to be called to shut off water at the street. Why? Because the water was spewing out of the breaks in the pipes under the first floor at a rate of 13 gallons per minute. The first floor and the finished basement were flooded. The water eventually found its way outside through the floor joists and around the exterior wall’s foot plate. Six to eight inches of ice coated the exterior of the foundation.

First floor.

As a result, almost all of the hardwood flooring on the first floor was destroyed. The first four feet of the first floor drywall had to be pulled down and replaced due to wicking. The finished basement was destroyed and had to be totally gutted as well.

In this case, the total estimated loss was $60,000-$80,000. Luckily, insurance covered the cost of the repairs, but not the inconvenience to the owner.

Since homeowner policies can and do vary widely in coverage, it is very important to review your policy with your agent on a regular basis. Make sure to ask about any insurance cap that might apply.

You are probably asking what can be done to avoid frozen pipes. Here are some tips, offered by Paramount Carpet & Air Duct Cleaning of Warrenton.


In the fall, make sure to close inside valves to outside hose bibs. Open the outside hose bib to drain it. This is one of the most common areas for freezing.
Check the INTERIOR of your home for areas where water pipes, both hot and cold, are located in unheated areas. ex attics, basement, laundry rooms, garage and under sinks in both the bathroom and kitchen.
Consider insulating exposed pipes with pipe sleeves or using UL rated heat tapes.
Leave the cupboard doors under kitchen and bathroom sinks open to allow warmer air to circulate. Be careful to put cleaning supplies out of reach of children.
If you are planning to go out of town, leave your heat set at 65-70.

If you should find yourself with burst pipes, please don’t think you have to handle it alone. I recommend the services of Paramount Carpet and Air Duct Cleaning. They are a full service Indoor Air Quality & Property Restoration contractor; licensed, insured and available 24 hours a day. They use eco-friendly cleaning solutions and truck mounted hot water extraction for best results. Their services include air duct cleaning, carpet and furniture cleaning, hard surface cleaning like tile and grout, dryer vent cleaning and pressure washing. Their property restoration services include damage done by fire, wind, and water, including mold remediation. A quick call to the numbers below will bring the help you need. You can visit them on the web at or e-mail your questions to

Paramount Carpet & Air Duct Cleaning

47 Broadview Ave. 
Warrenton, VA 20186



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