How Frozen Pipes can Contribute to a Mold Problem

4 Steps to Water Damage Restoration After Frozen Pipe Leaks

There’s nothing like a lot of snow this time of year that lets us enjoy a winter wonderland. But one thing that’s not so wonderful is when pipes in our home freeze and burst. This can turn a happy season into the winter blues.

The problem is not uncommon, especially in older homes with antiquated plumbing systems. Water, when it freezes, expands about nine percent, which puts pressure on pipes and can lead to cracking and bursting. A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can gush up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing major damage—not only to your home but to your health.

If pipes burst and you don’t get rid of the stagnant water right away, mold and mildew can quickly form in 24 to 48 hours.  According to the EPA, you can probably handle mold cleanup yourself if the affected area is less than about 10 square feet. However, you should hire a professional if the damage is extensive, you have health concerns, or you’re not sure how to go about the clean up yourself. Mold has the potential to cause respiratory issues such as asthma, coughing/wheezing, throat infections and eye irritations. Studies from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reveal that people with weakened or underdeveloped immune systems are most at risk.

In addition, if pipes are leaking in rooms that may be damp to begin with—such as basements, laundry rooms, and bathrooms—black mold can grow both outside a wall and inside. In this case, what you can’t see, can hurt you.

Here are 4 steps you can take when broken pipes have you waterlogged!

  1. First, you want to be sure the area is fully dry. You can use mops and wet-dry vacuums, but consumer-grade equipment is insufficient to detect and remove hidden pockets of moisture. Remember, you have about 24 to 48 hours to dry your belongings before mold could set in. Bactronix offers fast and professional drying of floors, walls, ceilings, carpet, and furnishings after water damage. Our experts use state-of-the-art equipment and work quickly to ensure your area is cleaned up before the water has time to do any more damage.  If necessary, Bactronix will remove drywall or paneling to create access to broken pipes, remove wet insulation, and dry the inner walls, floors, and ceilings.
  2. Next, get the area professionally tested in case of mold. Bactronix can identify the source of a mold problem to help eliminate current and future mold growth. We test the area and provide you with a written assessment, along with a recommendation on the best way to remove the mold. The Bactronizing® process is applied electrostatically to ensure 100% coverage for the elimination of mold, fungi, algae, and other harmful viruses and bacteria, and to help prevent future re-growth.
  3. Third, have the area retested to make sure it is safe from mold—and get a warranty. As part of the Bactronix process, we will retest the area to ensure we have eliminated the problem. After the treatment, you will receive a certificate proving the property or business has completed the antimicrobial guidelines to remove mold. (For residential customers involved in a real estate deal, the certification is transferable to the new owners.) You’ll also receive a one-year warranty against mold regrowth.
  4. Finally, continue on-going maintenance so that the area stays clean and disinfected. Areas that have experienced water damage in the past should always stay dry, clean and sanitized. This is especially important if you don’t remove or replace damaged drywall and other building materials right away. Bactronix is committed to helping slow the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria. Our non-toxic cleaning formula and disinfection process is guaranteed to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and ill-causing germs. You want more than a neat and clean home–you want a healthy living environment you can trust and enjoy.

The next time your pipes break, consider it water under the bridge. Bactronix technicians can take care of the mess. Our customers have rated our technicians as superior in every way—fast, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. They arrive on time, finish on time, and, most of all, they care about you. When you need to call us, we’ll be here to lend a helping hand.