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Water damage is can happen to anyone, at anytime. Water, as you probably know, is the most destructive force on Earth! It can carve valleys and move mountains. It can also collapse the ceiling in your home and destroy all your floors. 3 cubic feet of water weighs roughly 1,700 pounds, that’s as much as a Smart Car or an average Plains Bison. For that reason McAdams Plumbing wants to continue to push the point that during the cold winter months you must be careful to avoid freeze break in your pipes.
Since December of 2012 McAdams Plumbing has been called out to 31 calls for leaks related to freezes. Most of them were caught swiftly and (relatively) little damage was seen. But some of the others were not so lucky. This blog is going to highlight what happened to one of our “not so lucky” friends in Longmont.
What you see above is 4 separate water lines that froze, then burst in an unoccupied home in Longmont. Now this event was no fault of the owners. This was a home he owned and was remodeling one floor at a time. While he was away from the home for a week the furnace failed and afterward, with the very low temperatures outside, the house began to freeze. When the pipes burst (almost all in different locations) water began filling the home. I wish I could say it happened slowly but it did not.
All in all, 180,000 gallons (no, that is not a typo) of water flooded 2 stories of this 3 story home. If we follow the math that says every gallon of water weighs 8.34 lb., then this house withstood (over time) 1,501,200 lb. of water! That’s just an amazing.
This is why we always remind everyone we can to leave the heat in their home at no less than 62*F at all times and to insulate pipes that are on outer walls or exposed directly/indirectly to freezing temperatures. In cases like this one though, even those measures weren’t enough. You just can’t anticipate a furnace failing. That’s why we so strongly recommend the addition of a WaterCop Automatic Water Shut-Off Valve to any home that you claim ownership on. A little money out of pocket in advance could save you several thousand dollars in the future.