Quincy, IL — Homeowners’ damage from the frigid cold temperatures of the past Winter is being seen during the warm days of Spring. Exterior faucets on homes in the tri-state area froze during the Winter; however, will not released damaging water into basements and homes until the faucets are turned on for outside Spring projects. Dale Steinkamp, with ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration says, “the company’s call volume has increased with broken pipes connected to exterior frost-free and regular faucets alike.” Steinkamp says, “the damage can be prevented with a few simple steps before the outside spigots are used.”
Frost-free exterior faucets use a plunger inside the pipe called a stem to turn water off inside the house were the pipe is kept warm and not allowed to freeze. During this record cold Winter, the faucets froze and burst where the pipe passes through the home’s exterior wall. Water doesn’t flood into the walls and basements until the handle of the faucet is turned.. releasing the stem plunger and allowing water to flow to the burst area of the pipe or faucet. Water damage to finished basements that include living space, home offices, and man caves can be prevented by following ServiceMaster’s three step process for turning on outside spigots for the first time this Spring. First, make sure that you know where the home’s water shut-off valve is located and if it is working. Some valves will seize up and fail to close properly if not used regularly. Second, place a person inside the house to watch the interior pipe that supplies water to the outside faucet and be ready to shut off the water supply if water starts to spray inside the house. Third, turn on your outside faucet. If water pressure seems low or water does not turn on, shut off the main valve quickly and call your plumber.
“We prevent water from intruding into our homes and business, so microbial growth doesn’t get started inside our living and work space,” says Steinkamp. ServiceMaster dries homes and businesses following water intrusions using dehumidification by industry standards. ServiceMaster projects that 2014 is going to be an unusually high year for mold issues in the tri-states. ServiceMaster remediates (removes) molds from living and work space because of the harmful effects that is can have on our health, especially the very young and more mature individuals who may have a compromised immune system. Mold requires moisture, temperature, and a food source like wood or drywall to live. Steinkamp says, “individuals who tried to dry building materials inside the walls from pipe breaks and backups this Winter or chose to let materials dry out by themselves; may have microbial growth problems months after the water came inside the structure.” While water removal is not inexpensive and not always covered by insurance; mold removal is more extensive and carries a cost of 3 to 10 times the price of removing clean water and mold spores are seldom covered under a homeowners or business policy. Technology has allowed us to remove water from a building for typically a third of the cost of replacing drywall, carpets, and other materials as was the practice 30 years ago. Plus; with removing materials, you were never certain that microbial growth causing moisture did not remain in the structure.
Director of Business Development
ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration
901 N. 54th — Quincy