Water Damage in the Winter

Water Damage in the Winter

Author: Chris Massie December 30, 2022

As the temperatures outside begin to drop below the freezing point, your home is more at risk of winter water damage.

When water freezes, it expands.

You may remember this as a kid with an ice cube tray.
You filled the tray with water, just below the edges that divided each cube.
When you pulled the tray out of the freezer the next day, the ice cube had expanded up above that divider!
The water expanded!

The same thing happens when water freezes in your garden hose.
However, if the water has no where to go while it’s freezing and expanding, it creates small breaks and cracks in the hose.
After multiple freezing occurrences, the hose breaks fully, letting any unfrozen water escape and run all over the ground.

This can happen inside your home as well, but with your water pipes!

When the water inside a pipe freezes, it may not leak that first time.
It may not leak the second time.
Yet each time the water freezes, it expands and creates tiny cracks in the pipe.

Eventually, the cracks get big enough that the unfrozen water leaks out and covers the floor in your home, causing water damage!

When you have water damage inside your home, it creates a big problem … and a big mess!


How do you protect your home from a frozen water leak?

Answer: Insulation.

First, make sure your home is well-insulated from the cold temperatures.

Pay special attention to the areas of your home where water pipes run along the outside walls.
Proper insulation prevents the cold temperatures from getting in, and it keeps the warmer temperatures in your home from getting out.

Second, make sure the pipes that are exposed to the colder temperatures are properly insulated.

This gives extra protection to those pipes to avoid freezing and breaking, which would allow water to leak into your home.


What do you do if water does leak into your home?

First, shut off your water.

Turning off the water, stops more water from leaking into your home.

Know where your main water shut off valve is.
For ease of finding it in an emergency, mark it with a special tag.
If you would like a special tag, just ask us and we will send you one for free.

main water shut off

Second, call a plumber.

Call your local plumber directly and immediately.
Explain where the water came from and what you have done to turn off the water.
Have your plumber repair the broken pipe or leak, to ensure more water does not leak into your home.

Third, call Swartz Restoration.

Call our 24 hour emergency hotline: 419-331-1024.
We specialize in water cleanups, and our team of experts will kindly and swiftly help you out.
If the water damage is extensive, we can restore your home as well.

So…before it gets any colder, do two things:

  1. Check your pipes for how insulated and protected they are from the cold.
  2. Contact us for a free tag to mark your main water shut off valve.

Stay dry this winter!