Small Business Blog

Water Damage Potential with Radiant Heat Systems

Radiant heating systems are made to effectively supply direct heat panels in the walls or through floors consequently radiating heat into the greater expanse of your home. With steam or hot water, technically called hydronic radiant system, there is a central boiler that heats the water and that also pumps hot water and steam through a strategically positioned system of pipes that zigzag beneath the floor or wall panel emitting or radiating heat. Often copper tubing is utilized since it is such a good heat conductor energy and therein lays the challenge. Water damage to your home can the result when the copper tubing corrodes.. Hydronic radiant systems were the most frequent way of heating homes in Levittown, PA. These homes have gained historical significance in the housing and building construction industry for its 26 step “assembly line style” of home construction where more than 17, 000 homes were built in a span of six years. Construction crews with specialized tasks moved from property to property and when this assembly line is in full swing they were able to complete a house every 16 minutes. In Pennsylvania during the 1950’s, the steel industry was a major employer and the Levitt and Sons construction crews seized the opportunity and built Levittown.


Radiant Heat Construction Issues

Typically, a hydronic boiler system has an expected lifespan of Thirty to fifty years before they begin giving way to corrosion. Here we are in 2011 and although many of the boilers have been replaced, the copper tubes for the most part, have stood the test of time although there have been more reports of these older systems breaking down and homeowners having to deal with the resulting water damage from burst pipes. As with the Levittown homes, these copper tubes were set within a concrete slab and leak detection in radiant floors is difficult. Copper tends to expand or shrink through extreme temperatures. Over a period of sixty years, Pennsylvania has had its fair share of harsh winters and extremely hot summers. It is only a matter of time before an older radiant heat system will give way.

At the time it was a very novel approach to heating homes and with over fifty years without major incidence, hot water radiant heating from floors and walls has proven very effective. Aside from the fact that it is more advantageous than “direct heat” system, a radiant heat system is regarded as an energy-efficient method to maintain warm temperatures through the cold winter season. Nevertheless, original radiant heat systems will eventually beak down and can pose a threat to your home should it be left unattended. It is vital to conduct leak detection tests abd flush the system by a remediation contractor or a proffesional plumber trained in these systems. It is the water restoration services in Bucks County that have been called upon when a problem did occur in homes.

So what should any homeowner do when faced with the issue concerning a failing radiant heat system? Act fast once the troubles are small as they may get larger if unattended. Maintenance should always be given the proper attention. It is always advised to seek a properly trained water damage restoration company in PA or a skilled plumber to run leak detection tests. Should water damage happen, your insurance policy will dictate that you mitigate the damage as soon as possible. A storm damage cleanup service in Langhorne should be called in as these folks often have the right water extraction equipment for Levittown homes. Above all is to not panic as a clear head in a crisis will always fair better. As a restoration service for North Phillyhomes we know to pay attention to the 4 “P’s”, Proper Planning Prevents Problems.


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