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Preventing Frozen Pipes and Water Damage in Homes and Buildings

The building science professionals at Clark Seif Clark offer tips to help prevent frozen pipes and provide resources to identify water damage and potential exposure hazards.

Chatsworth, CA – WEBWIRE

Water escaping from a burst pipe can ruin building materials, belongings, furnishing and can even result in structural damage in some cases.

One of the most common reasons homeowners file insurance claims is due to burst pipes. In fact, insurance professionals report that approximately 1 in 50 policyholders submits a water damage or freezing claim each year.
During the cold winter months, pipes can burst as water freezes. The water expands putting tremendous pressure on both metal and plastic pipes. Water escaping from a burst pipe can ruin building materials, belongings, furnishing and can even result in structural damage in some cases.
Fortunately, there are simple steps people can take to help prevent pipes from freezing. They include the following:

  • Insulate or heat any pipes that could be susceptible to freezing. Don’t forget pipes that could be out of sight in basements, crawlspaces and attics.
  • Detach outdoor hose connections. Insulate the hose bib. If there is an indoor valve to these outdoor bibs turn them off, allow the pipes to drain and leave the outside valve open so any remaining water can expand without bursting the pipes.
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water lines located there or within garage walls.
  • Open indoor closets and cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate and heat pipes located in wall or ceiling cavities.
  • Be sure the HVAC system is operating properly. Operate the heat in vacant buildings or units. Many experts recommend keeping the heat at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit in vacancies.
  • Turning the water off to the property and draining the water lines is an option for vacant properties; however, this could prevent fire suppression systems from being able to operate.
  • During extreme cold weather some people choose to allow a trickle of water to flow from a faucet to keep water in motion and to bring in warmer water to help prevent pipes from freezing.

“Winterization is important to reduce the frequency of water supply pipe failures. Unfortunately, even with the greatest of care, pipes can still break,” said Derrick A. Denis, Vice President of Indoor Environmental Quality for Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “Planning before the disaster is essential, so when the flood occurs, stakeholders can act quickly and methodically to reduce structural and property damages, lessen the likelihood of mold growth, decrease the time of occupant interruption and avoid disturbance of regulated building materials. You don’t want to be searching the internet for a restoration company and industrial hygiene firm at 3:00 am on a Saturday. Get your emergency vendors in the system now. Regulated products like asbestos-containing materials and lead-based paints endanger occupants and workers during cleanup and repair activities, and can lead to citations and fines if they are not handled properly. Get your buildings preemptively tested for regulated materials now. It will save precious time and money to know what’s regulated and what’s not. At CSC, we offer inspection, testing and consulting services to help residential and commercial buildings quickly and safely resolve any concerns following water damage due to burst pipes or other types of water damage. These services help to ensure that both building occupants and those tasked with repairs are not exposed to dangerous substances that could impact their well-being. These services also help to keep companies in regulatory compliance when dealing with regulated materials such as lead or asbestos.”
CSC recently sponsored an educational video with tips to help prevent frozen pipes that can be seen at:
To learn more about this or other building science, indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, health and safety services, please visit, email or call (800) 807-1118. 
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.

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 Water Damage
 Industrial Hygiene
 Frozen Pipe
 Burst Pipe

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