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Breaking News

Tips to Prevent, Handle and Hire Help with Frozen Plumbing

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February 3, 2011, 4:39pm
2,388 views | 8 comments

Austin, TX -- February 3, 2011 -- The winter weather across Central, Coastal and Southwest Texas this week continues to freeze plumbing lines in commercial and residential buildings as temperatures remain surprisingly low. To prevent pipes from freezing, bursting and causing water damage, BBB urges all home and business owners to take extra precautions by following these tips, suggested by industry experts:

To prevent your pipes from freezing:

- Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of the home.

- Remove garden hoses from outside faucets.

- Cover vents around the foundation of your home.

- Drip outside faucets 24 hours a day (5 drops per minute).

- Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls to allow heat in from inside the home.

- Shut off the water to washing machines in unheated garages.

If your pipes freeze and burst:

- Cut-off the water valve. If you are unable to locate or operate your cut-off valve, call your water provider immediately for help.

- Call your insurance agent to file a claim. Be sure to ask for specific procedures or paperwork needed to move forward with repairs.

- If possible, take photos of any water saturation. An insurance adjuster may need to see what's been damaged in order to process your claim.

- As soon as the majority of water is drained away, all wet items should be discarded or cleaned and thoroughly dried within 48 hours of flooding to prevent the growth of mold, according to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

If hiring a plumber to help with repairs:

- Be wary of plumbers who show up unsolicited at your door offering to make repairs. Most reputable companies are too busy right now to solicit work in this manner.

- Beware of price gouging. Some businesses may be marking up their products or services by as much as 500 percent due to the high demand of plumbing services in the cold weather.

- Take time to shop around for plumbers get competitive bids, and check references and licensing requirements. Check a company’s rating with BBB to determine your level of trust.

- Request a written contract, detailing all services, materials and labor. Be sure the plumber signs your copy before you make any payments.

- Never pay for all repairs in advance and do not pay with cash.

To check the reliability of the company and find trustworthy businesses , visit BBB.

About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.

Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal and Southwest Texas at (512) 445-4748.

Your Opinions and Comments

Nannette Kilbey-Smith, Editor  
February 9, 2011 8:21am
Resident, we're glad to hear you recycle the WCN! Thanks for being a loyal reader and being so creative with our publication!!

February 8, 2011 1:16pm
I use my trusty wilson county newspaper to wrap all my spickets. then cover them with plastic grocery bags I've been collecting in used tissue boxes. Wrap at the bottom with duct tape. Cheap, easy and effective.

4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
February 7, 2011 8:30am
EK, and I'll bet about $15M of that grant will have to be spent on administrative expenses (secretaries and clerks to fill out all the paper work and file it)....But, I could use a salad bar! I wonder if donuts are allowed ... More ›

Elaine K.  
February 6, 2011 8:26pm
I read in today's Express-News that SA was awarded $15.6 million in stimulus money to fight obesity. They are putting salad bars in schools, workout equipment in parks, even closing streets temporarily for walking and running ... More ›

4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
February 6, 2011 8:08pm
Ms SV, I'll bet I could get a grant from Obama for the recycling effort. what do you think?

Ms. S. V.  
February 6, 2011 6:12pm
Hey, 4th. Good recycling, too!

4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
February 6, 2011 10:58am
Here's a tip I use to wrap outside pipes: Save used paper towels (I suppose any time of crumpled paper will work)and place in a plastic trash bag, roll it up and wrap with masking tape to retain round shape...then simply wrap ... More ›

Lovin' LV  
February 4, 2011 3:59pm
Thanks for the tips.... this is good information!!!

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