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Temporary Heat after Burst Pipes and Water Damage

When a damage is caused by burst pipes the clean-up is complicated by the fact that the heating system is no longer functioning. Without heat it is impossible to dry. Also burst pipes in upper floors and ceilings often will leak through walls and affect the electrical system. Oftentimes that can result in the electricity being shut off at the panel. In that instance there is neither power nor electricity to power drying equipment so we need temporary heat and electricity.

The good news is that a cold house won’t grow mold very quickly so we do have more time than if it was a hot and sticky July day. We can get a temporary power panel placed on the house. Usually this takes CMP a few days to respond. After that we have options for both heat and power.


A large ServiceMaster heater dumps heat through hoses in motel room windows in winter.

Temporary heater

We have two types of heaters that can be used to dry a house until the pipes can be fixed and the furnace can be restored. The first is electric heat. These units provide flexibility to put them in the most effective areas for maximum drying. The typically plug into a range or dryer outlet but we also have some that run on a common 110 outlet. The second type is an indirect fired mobile furnace that runs on diesel. Indirect fired means that the furnace is heating an element which then heats the air that is pumped into the house. Direct fired is a propane heater for example that burns fuel and emits heat but also emits waste gases. One of the waste gases that is generated from propane combustion is water vapor so it is a very damp heat that inhibits drying. The indirect fired heaters produce virtually 0% humidity and therefor dry as they heat. The indirect heaters are left outside as the do produce gas and smoke.

Electricity: If CMP is not able to install a power panel, we have small generators and we can get access to much larger generators that can power the dry-out of a house or business. It is very helpful if we can get power to a 220 amp circuit such as a dryer or range. We have splitter boxes that can take the power to those outlets and power it down to many regular 120 amp electrical for our drying equipment.

a wooden stand with elecrical panels sites in a parking lot covered in snow.

Temporary Power Panel

Insulation: If a pipe has burst which affects walls and ceilings there is almost always insulation that is effected. It is critical to remove that insulation because it holds moisture extremely well. It also will have a diminished R Value which means the insulation will be less effective. Once it is removed however there is nothing to insulated the home and airflow from the outside can also increase. This makes it more difficult to provide temporary heat. Once the insulation is out, it is best if the structure can be dried quickly and then the insulation replaced.

If you do have burst pipes in your home or business that disrupt your heat and power please call

ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration

(207) 539-4452

We have crews standing by 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We can get your house back to a home and your business back in business.

We serve Southern, Central and Western Maine from our locations in Auburn and Falmouth Maine.

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