LIVE Coverage of Quinton Tellis retrial in Jessica Chambers murder

Burst pipes from freeze keeping ServiceMaster busy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — ServiceMaster says it's so busy with burst pipes and water leaks from recent frigid temperatures the company has to place Memphis-area customers on a waiting list.

As of Friday afternoon, that waiting list was 63 customers long.

"You've got two inches of water, sometimes two feet of water depending on what pipe broke," said Elisha Cox with ServiceMaster by Cornerstone.

It was two inches for one investment company when a sprinkler pipe burst a few days ago.

"It's just like if you turn on the faucet and then imagine if it was coming to your floor. It goes everywhere," Cox said.

ServiceMaster sucked out the water, ripped up the carpet and cut holes in the walls to dry out the building.

In this case that involves using a giant dehumidifier, which is hooked up to an air duct that runs throughout the entire building.

"If you don't dry it properly a lot of people don't understand that's when mold comes into play," Cox said.

The company is working 15 jobs at a time as they tackle that waiting list.

"We're doing our best to through that as quickly as we can but it's hard to respond to immediate type situations when you have that many people."

They know how devastating it is for property owners.

"You've got every emotion, every theory in your head of what's going to happen," Cox said.

They suggest property owners keep their faucets running with a steady stream of water, not just a trickle.

"It's a common thing for people to say you need to trickle your water or drip it but that's not going to keep you from having pipes burst," Cox said.