You’re sitting at home on a nice afternoon, and suddenly your spouse yells at you from upstairs “THERES WATER EVERYWHERE! WE GOTTA SHUT OFF THE WATER!”
You drop what you’re doing, run upstairs to find a watery disaster that is threatening to severely damage your house. You finally get the water shut off, and dont even know where to start because the mess is so massive.
While this narrative may sound dramatic – it happens. Knowing what you should do next can help mitigate the damage to your home when a water pipe bursts.
One of the worst things you can come across in your home is a burst pipe. For the most part, homeowners are aware that pipes freezing and busting open are a threat. Not many homeowners know both how to prevent this from happening, as well as what to do if you ever find out a pipe has in fact burst. For preemptive measures, check out this blog post, which offers helpful tips and tricks that will decrease the likelihood of your home becoming a victim to a burst pipe. For immediate damage control measures for a pipe that has burst, keep reading.
What to Do if You Find a Pipe Has Burst in Your Home
Shut Off Water
The first action you should take if you notice a burst pipe in your home is to turn off the water in your home immediately. This will help limit the damage done by the pipe. Next, turn off the electricity in that section of the home, especially if you think the leak from the pipe burst may have reached an electrical socket. These two steps are extremely important, so make sure that you do each of them before you start working on other solutions to limit the initial damage.
If you live in an apartment complex or don’t have access to the building’s water supply and electricity, then contact the building manager or landlord for assistance.
Open a Faucet and Drain the Taps
Opening a faucet is also a step you can take to avoid a pipe bursting, especially if you notice a pipe in your home that looks like it is on the verge of freezing. However, this can also help in the cleanup process and flushing out your pipes. Opening your faucets and letting the remaining cold water out from the system will help reduce the chance of leftover water freezing inside the pipes (which could potentially cause more damage). On top of this, opening your faucets, with the cold taps first and then the hot water will relieve the pent up pressure within the pipe too. While no one likes wasting water, this is a necessary step to limit the scope of the damage.
Call a Plumber
Now, you can always take the route of repairing a pipe that has burst on your own, and if you’re a skilled handyman and want to save on the costs of outsourcing the work, then go for it. You can read about how to fix a burst pipe here.
However, we recommend you hire a professional and experienced plumber who has repaired many pipes like this before and will do an excellent job. When it comes to deciding whether or not to repair something on your own, it’s a risk-reward scenario. In other words, is the risk of having your pipe break again from faulty repairs worth saving the extra money on hiring a plumber? That’s up to you. But we always recommend you bring in a pro to assist in the repairs.
Cleaning Tips on Your Own
Similar to repairing the pipes, in terms of cleaning up the mess it has caused, it is wise to call in an expert restoration services provider who can handle water damage. However, there are steps you can take while waiting for them to arrive to help make the cleanup process go faster.
First, use everything and anything you own that can help soak up the moisture. Mops, towels, wet/dry vacuums. Whatever you have, use it. Check thoroughly and make sure that you have all wet spots covered on the ground: every half hour or so, swap out the wet towels for new ones.
Next, turn up the heat (only do this after you’ve drained the remaining taps) or use a hair dryer on the area where the pipe broke. On top of this, open any cabinet doors or other doors where your pipes are located to help warm air continue to ciculate throughout the house.
Call a Restoration Services Provider
While these cleaning steps you do on your own will help limit the damage, only using fans and towels will likely lead to mold, mildew, and other side effects that could cause illnesses for those within the home. That’s why, if the water from your busted pipe spread on the walls, ceilings, and floors, a professional disaster restoration service provider is a must.
At ServiceMaster, our experienced disaster restoration experts are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This is because disasters don’t usually happen at convenient times, and we want to make sure we can mitigate the damage to your home. Whether you’re at home or your business, fire, flooding and mold outbreak can cause quite the headache when it comes to cleaning up the damage. That’s where we come in. Our fast-responding technicians have the training and equipment to start making a difference right away, and we always hit the ground running.
We’re proud to be certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the world’s leading restoration Standards Developing Organization (SDO). We’re also certified as a Lead-Safe Certified Firm by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There’s no disaster too big or too small for our experts to handle. We’ve seen disasters of all shapes and sizes, so whether it’s just a single room or the whole house, we can help in restoring your home.