‘Water came gushing out’: Pipe breaks cause flooding problems across Calgary

The sudden warm spell causing a slew of water pipe breaks and flooding in Calgary
WATCH: After weeks of bone chilling cold the warm temperatures are a welcome relief. But, they have also caused a wave of water pipe breaks and flooding. Gary Bobrovitz reports.

Firefighters, plumbers and restoration workers have been running on overdrive responding to flooding calls across Calgary.

Burst and broken pipes are creating a watery mess in homes and businesses in all corners of the city.

“Unfortunately, places that aren’t insulated well where water lines are are freezing and with that nice weather we’re having they’re thawing and we’re having flooding,” said Richard Welder, owner of Blue Wave Plumbing.

READ MORE: Calgary condo complex evacuated after pipe bursts on top floor

The Calgary Fire Department has responded to more than 135 water-related calls since New Year’s day, including a condo complex that had to be evacuated Monday night after piping in the sprinkler system burst.

“When I came in the stairs there was three inches of water, it was like a waterfall,” condo resident Michel Goudreault recounted. “Water shooting out from the cracks dripping from the ceiling.”

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Residents were allowed back inside to see their suites Tuesday. The property manager says six of the units have serious water damage, meaning people living in those suites will likely be out of their homes for two to three months.

Goudreault was one of the lucky ones, with only a bit of water damage to the ceiling.

WATCH: Flooding calls have been coming in non-stop in Calgary. Firefighters, plumbers and restoration crews are being called to all corners of the city to deal with burst pipes. Lauren Pullen reports.

Flooded with calls: burst pipes keep emergency crews, restoration workers busy
Flooded with calls: burst pipes keep emergency crews, restoration workers busy

Restoration companies and plumbers have been working around the clock since the deep freeze started last week.

“Every restoration company in Calgary’s in the same boat right now; running full crews with all the water damage we’re experiencing,” Phil Rauzon with ComPro Cleaning and Restoration said.

READ MORE: Deep freeze offers only cold comfort for natural gas producing firms

And the worst is likely still to come.

“There are probably still more frozen water lines and they haven’t ruptured yet,” Welder said.

How can you prevent bursting pipes?

Restoration and plumbing professionals say there are easy ways to prevent your pipes from bursting.

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“The major reason this is happening, and it’s important for prevention, is lack of heat in the building or in the home,” Rauzon said.

He suggests keeping your thermostat set at between 20 C to 25 C at all times, to avoid your pipes from freezing.

READ MORE: Cold weather causes gas outages in northern Alberta county, local state of emergency declared

Another key is keeping windows and balcony doors closed during a deep freeze. Rauzon says if you do find one of your pipes is frozen over, don’t try and thaw it out yourself, as you could make the situation worse. He advises you call a professional plumber.

How should you deal with water damage?

If you do wind up in a situation where a pipe has burst and flooded your home or business, the most important thing is to get it cleaned up as soon as possible.

And there’s a lot more water than what’s clearly visible — it usually seeps into walls and floorboards as well.

“If you do have water damage, dry it out as fast as you can. [You can use] fans, heaters, dehumidifiers that you can buy at a big box store,” Welder said.

If it’s not cleaned up, mold can grow very quickly, causing a whole new set of problems.