A broken pipe in your home can quickly result in damage worth thousands of dollars. From flooded basements to destroyed objects, no homeowner ever wants to deal with a pipe break. There are several reasons why a pipe could burst. Cold temperatures can cause water in pipes to freeze and expand. Pipes can also develop weakened connections or corrode over time. Sudden changes in water pressure can also cause problems.
Regardless of the reason, however, you want to react quickly if a pipe break ever occurs in your home. Here are the steps you want to take.
The very first thing you want to do is turn off the water. You should familiarize yourself with the main water shut-off valve in your home long before you ever need it. In most houses, this value is in the basement or on an outer wall. It usually takes two or more full turns clockwise for the water to turn off. Again, you should familiarize yourself with the correct method to turn the valve off before you need to use it. Once the value is turned off, go to the taps in your house and turn them on. This allows the water that is still in the pipes to flow away, relieving the pressure from the pipes. This is also a good opportunity to ensure that the water has been turned off completely.
Call a plumber and your insurance company
Once you have successfully turned off the water, the next thing you need to do is make a call. You need to contact a plumber and your insurance company. If you are new to the installation, you should call a plumber to begin replacing the pipes. If the tubes are not replaced properly, you could have another major problem on your hands later. The plumber can also assess your other pipes to make sure they are in good condition. You want to call your insurance company to find out what (if any) damage they can cover. Do this as soon as possible before you have to pay to make plumbing and household repairs. Your insurance company may also need to see photos or the damage, or even send someone to assess the situation.
Get rid of water
Once the water is turned off and on the phone, it's time to remove the water. The faster you can get rid of the water, the better. If the water caused a standing tide, turn off the power before going into the water. In the event of a flood, you should also wear a pair of rubber boots with good traction. If you have a sump pump in your basement, make sure it's turned on to drain some water. Then start getting rid of the water in every possible way. Small amounts of water can be taken up with towels. Larger quantities may have to be removed with a Shop Vac. If you don't have a store, you can also remove large amounts of water by scooping it up in buckets.
Watch out for damage
The final step in the process is to repair the damage. This includes replacing floors, walls and affected furniture. Restoring water damage takes time and money, but is not something you want to overlook. If the water has damaged your floors or walls and you choose not to have them replaced, you may be dealing with mold and mildew in the future. You don't want to put yourself in a position dealing with mold. Mold can cause serious health problems. Try to remove as many objects from the area as possible, then put them outside so they can dry in the sun. You may be able to save some of the items that got wet. However, if something like an upholstered couch got wet, you should replace the couch. This in turn helps reduce the possibility of mold.
If you are ever in a position where a pipe has burst, turn off the water as soon as possible. Then take the necessary steps to restore the damage. Also familiarize yourself with the reasons why pipes burst to reduce the likelihood of this happening.