5 Things to Do Immediately After Discovering a Burst Pipe in Your Home
A burst pipe can cause homeowners a great deal of trouble. It is, therefore, the last thing you want to happen to you. However, the extent to which a burst pipe causes damage depends on its location. Mitigation might be easier if the problem occurred under your sink, where you can see it. But if it happens behind the wall in your plumbing system, you might not know about it until a long time. Mold on the walls or low pressure in the faucets are signs of such a problem. Burst pipes can cause serious issues like water damage, seepage of water into walls and foundations, to name a few.
Extreme cold can also cause a pipe to burst if the water inside the pipe freezes, weakening the metal or plastic. Uninsulated lines are more likely to burst since extreme temperatures get a higher impact. In such a case, you only get to know about the burst pipe and water leakage when the ice clears from the surface, and water flow starts again. Other commonly reported causes of water damage are corrosion and road construction.
The following measures will help contain the damage caused by a burst pipe in your house, regardless of the cause.
1 – Shut Off The Water Supply
After discovering a burst pipe in your home, the first thing you should do is locate the water main on your property and shut it off. The lines that carry water to your whole house are connected to this water main. By shutting it off, you will stop the water from going into the broken pipes, and thus, prevent further damage.
During your regular days, make sure you always know the location of the main water valve. You will not have to waste time looking for it in an emergency. Most water mains are located in the basement or outside walls. If the pipe is behind the walls, it is better to shut off the electricity to avoid electrocution from water traveling toward the wiring network.
2 – Sop Up Pooled Water
After turning off the main valve, sop off the puddle of water around and under the pipe. Wipe as much water as you can and ensure that it does not seep through any cracks or leaks in the floor. Use buckets and mops to clean up the area and remove the excess water.
In addition to stopping the flow of water toward other house areas, you need to prevent damage to your personal belongings. For example, if you have laminate flooring, be extra quick since water can seep through within hours. Other types of floors may be more susceptible to water damage depending on the material used. Water can also damage a floor’s surface by cracking or discoloring it. Once the water has been wiped off the floor, use some portable fans to quickly dry it.
3 – Drain The Pipes
Shutting off the main valve isn’t sufficient because it will stop the water flowing towards the broken pipes, but it can’t do anything about the water still inside. So you must shut off every possible source of water supply from the ruptured pipes by draining them.
Disconnect all pipes, flush each toilet, and turn off the hot water heater. After that, run all the water standing in the pipes connected to each faucet. The leak will eventually stop when there is no running water.
4 – Locate And Inspect The Leak
If you are familiar with the plumbing system in your house and know how to inspect and remove the broken pipes, try to find the leak and inspect them. Remove the shattered pipe and replace it with a new one to restore the water flow to the whole house. If you are not sure about it, it is better to call a plumbing expert to have a look. An inspection of the leak will help you understand the extent of the problem and what steps need to be taken to fix it.
If the leak has been hiding behind the walls and appeared just now, it is also recommended to call water damage and water removal Denver experts to look at the potential damage. The use of infrared technology allows them to detect the spread of water inside walls and any problems that might have been caused by it. They will also adequately remove the water, dry the affected walls and surrounding areas to make sure no possibility of further damage remains behind.
5 – Remove Your Belongings From The Area
In the meantime, your plumber or water damage experts reach your house, remove all your belongings from the nearby areas. This way, you can mitigate the additional harm caused to your belongings, lest the broken pipe leak becomes more costly. Furniture, carpets, curtains, and other such items in the room require the most attention. If you act swiftly, you might be able to salvage most of them without much harm. These items should be immediately wiped and cleaned with a dry cloth to remove excess water. Put all these items in a room that is not affected by water damage. If there’s no room, put them on the roof, and let the sun work its magic. This will increase lifetime of the furniture carpets and so on and will save your money as well.
A burst pipe can be the start of many problems in the house, or it might already be causing water damage in the house hidden from your eyes. In some cases, owners only know about a burst pipe when they see mold on the wall. It is better to locate the issue as soon as possible, but it is imperative to act quickly and take the correct remedial actions once you do. Immediate steps include shutting off the main water supply valve and sopping up pooled water from the floor. Later you can call the plumbing and water damage expert to do their job of fixing the burst pipe and water damage.