This time of year with the polar-vortex-type temperatures we are experiencing in the Chicagoland area, it is so important to protect your home or property from such elements as ice, swinterizenow and wind.

If you experience a water damage event from a frozen/burst pipe, make sure you call a trusted disaster restoration specialist to provide emergency services.  Until they arrive, do the following:

  1. Check the electrical box.  Can you turn it off?  Is the water over the electrical sockets on the floor or walls?  If so, do not touch!
  2. Identify the source of water: sanitary water (i.e. broken pipe) / contaminated water (i.e. washing machine overflow) / grossly contaminated water (i.e. sewage damage).
  3. Stop the source of the water and secure the evidence (i.e. broken pipe, valve, etc).
  4. Cover and close ALL open chemicals, cleaners, paints, or containers with liquids.
  5. Take photos of each affected area (especially damaged contents like computers or electronics) for the insurance company.
  6. Use a shop vac to start extracting water (if water is isolated to a small area).
  7. Be extremely careful for slippery floor conditions.

Now, here are some important tips to follow to protect your home from a winter water loss:

1. Eliminate drafts by closing off crawl spaces, vents and doors; especially under mobile homes. Repair broken or cracked windows, and check insulation and caulking around doors and windows.
2. Shut off the water supply and drain outside sprinkler systems and hose bibs. Detach hoses.
3. Insulate pipes in unheated parts of the home, such as the garage. Pipes close to exterior walls or in unheated basements can be wrapped with pieces of insulation or heating tape.
4. Remove leaves and debris from gutters so melting snow and ice can flow freely and prevent “ice damming” – a condition where water is unable to properly drain through the gutters and instead seeps into the house causing water to drip from the ceiling and walls.
5. Check the roof and make any repairs that are needed.

As always, call JCR at 800.956.8844 if you need advice, assistance, or any emergency services.  Download our mobile app for more helpful tips if you experience a loss at your home or property.