How to Reclaim Your Home from Frozen Burst Pipes

A Case Study from Upton, Chicago

New Home Owner

You’ve purchased the home of your dreams and settled in. You’re ready for a much-needed vacation. The timing is perfect because Chicago’s winter is starting to blow in hard. What could possibly go wrong?

Your trip is over, and you’re finally back home. It takes a couple of minutes to understand what you’re seeing as you step through the front door.

How can a couple of burst, frozen pipes ruin an entire house?

Our Client

When Michael called us last winter, he had a bone-chilling story. His newly purchased home just here in Uptown was fine when he left for the holidays. He returned from his trip to discover extensive damage throughout his entire house caused by frozen burst pipes.

The Problem

Every room in Michael’s two-story home was coated with solid sheets of ice. Ruptured pipes that caused the deluge needed immediate repair to prevent them from thawing out and flooding the home again. Ceilings, floors and walls were trapped in a frozen state of suspended ruin.

How do you save a house that’s been soaked and then frozen from the rafters to the basement?

Our approach


Our technicians were on the scene less than two hours after Michael’s call. It was our job to restore his home, but ensuring his peace of mind was just as important to us.

water damage cleanup

Examine & Contain

The frozen pipes had to be addressed first. We shut off the water supply and began thawing out Michael’s home. As the ice melted, we carefully worked through the water removal and cleanup process. This gave us access to damaged ceilings, floors and walls.

multi unit water damage cleanup


In this case, there was very little to salvage. Drywall, insulation, flooring, cabinets and fixtures were all beyond saving. It all had to be removed and demolished. We stripped the house down to its frame while preserving and repairing wiring and plumbing infrastructure. As we worked, we set up industrial fans and dehumidifying equipment to make sure that remaining interiors were completely dried out. This critical step in the restoration process keeps mold from taking hold in a home’s structure. Left untreated, mold growth damages new materials and poses a serious health risk to homeowners.


When all of the damaged materials were finally removed, the plumbing system was exposed so that we could determine the full scope of the damage. Frozen burst pipes throughout the entire house were replaced, and all connections were inspected and repaired. Every day eight to nine of our technicians worked around the clock restoring Michael’s home to its original condition. It was one of our biggest residential jobs last year, and it took seven days to complete. We replaced floors, ceilings and walls and repaired everything from kitchen cabinets to bathroom fixtures.

flood damage cleanup chicago


While Michael was very happy with our work, he was also relieved to know that we would deal with his insurance carrier from day one. Because we’re Chicago’s leading water damage restoration contractor, we’re recognized as a Quality Restoration Vendor by insurance companies across the city. Our staff expedited Michael’s claims process by working hand in hand with his insurer. We were very pleased with how much time and trouble we saved him by handling the paperwork in-house and dealing directly with his agent. By springtime, his home was completely remodeled, and Michael’s life was back to normal. We took photos for insurance documentation and worked directly with our client on billing. Our final walk-through inspection at each site included a certificate of completion and satisfaction.

Every day eight to nine of our technicians worked around the clock restoring Michael’s home to its original condition.

The Results

In all, our team at ServiceMaster by Zaba didn’t just fix Michael’s frozen burst pipes. We restored Michael’s peace of mind and gave him his dream house back

“They were very professional, knowledgeable & thorough. High quality workmanship. I will recommend them to all my friends!” – Michael W.