Several days of subfreezing temperatures resulted in frozen water pipes which are now leaking in homes across the state of Texas. With temperatures now warming above the freezing mark, homeowners are discovering water leaks and rushing to call plumbers for help.
Galveston was reportedly under a water conservation mandate this past weekend after freezing weather caused pipes to burst and leak.
The Galveston County Daily News reports that a rare 18-hour period of below-freezing weather from Tuesday night into Wednesday caused pipes to freeze at homes, businesses and in city main water lines. City Manager Brian Maxwell said the amount of water lost prompted an “emergency”, after the city’s water reserve supply dipped below 60 percent of capacity on Thursday.
By Thursday morning, more than 3,000 insurance claims from broken water pipes had been reported with many more insurance claims expected as the temperature continues to rise. The bulk of the claims have been in Houston and Dallas.
“Water claims can be expensive and the sooner a homeowner can detect a leak, the better,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas. “Undetected, oftentimes for days, water leaks can destroy walls and flooring.”
The damage from a leaking water pipe can easily cost thousands of dollars.
“We have been swamped with calls from people with either frozen pipes or water pipes that are leaking,” said Tara Holman with Johnny Rooter Plumbing in Austin. “All of our plumbers are really busy and working all hours to help our customers.”
Holman said many of those who have called for help have either seen water leaking, heard it or seen their water meter spinning without any water tap running.
Source: Insurance Council of Texas/Associated Press