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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Broken Pipes in Chicago

6/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO crews traveled to Chicago, Illinois after five days of subzero temperatures hit the city in February. Aside from extremely low temperatures, the deep freeze also caused the Chicago River to completely freeze. Shortly afterward, temperatures soared from lows of -50 degrees to highs in the 30s, 40s, and even 50s. This resulted in broken pipes for hundreds of homeowners throughout the city. Although this is a common phenomenon during the winter, the extreme and rapid change in temperature elevated the occurrence of burst pipes for Chicago homeowners this year.

The negative temperatures caused pipes to freeze over, so when the temperature rose, the pipes thawed, burst, and resulted in flooding. This occurs when water inside the pipes expands, causing pressure to build inside of the pipes. Too much pressure causes the pipes to burst.

Burst pipes can cause flooding in basements as well as water damage to carpets and walls. Mold commonly grows in flood-damaged homes or damp areas, as the moisture allows for mold to grow and multiply.

To protect against mold, objects that cannot be cleaned, such as drywall or ceiling tiles, should be removed, while items such as glass or ceramic may be cleaned. Approximately 30 job files were received by SERVPRO and 3 crews were required to combat the issue. The excitement of preparing for such a restoration and traveling to a different part of the country motivated the crews to make the journey to Chicago and restore the homes of those affected by the burst pipes.

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