Although burst pipes are a rare occurrence, when they do happen, they can cause a lot of chaos and damage. Pipes can burst without warning because of corrosion, cold temperatures, and clogs. But if a pipe bursts in your home, don't panic. Take the following steps to ensure you fix the problem quickly.
1. Turn off the water mains
Stop the flow of water to minimize the damage that will occur to your home. Locate the main water valve, which is usually in the basement, near the water heater, or in the crawlspace. And if there is a danger that the water might reach the electrical outlets or lights, turn off the electricity as well. Be sure to leave the faucets running to relieve pressure and empty pipes of residual water.
2. Locate the damaged pipe
Now patrol the interior of your home and search for the burst pipe. You likely won't be able to see the pipe, so you'll need to look for the following signs:
- Bulging ceilings
- Bulging floors
- Water spots on walls and ceilings
- Areas of moisture
Once you locate the damaged pipe, try to limit the spread of water by placing cloths or rags into and around the burst pipe. In addition, take inventory of the damage that has occurred throughout your home as a result of the leaking water. Take notes and pictures for insurance purposes.
3. Clean up the water to limit damage
Water doesn't need to sit long before it begins to cause irreversible damage to floors, ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. And remember that mold and mildew will likely follow if you take too long to clean up the water that has leaked from the burst pipe.
You'll also need to locate and remove all possessions from the area of the leakage. Choose a warm room with good ventilation to store waterlogged possessions in. You can use fans to help dry off clothes and furniture that is soaked. The faster you do this, the less chance mold and mildew will have to form.
4. Call a plumber
Don't attempt to fix a burst pipe on your own. You could make the problem much worse than it already is. A professional plumber can diagnose the cause of the burst pipe, repair the damage, and ensure that it doesn't happen again. You can also have the plumber come back to perform maintenance several times per year.
If a pipe has burst in your home, follow these steps calmly and quickly. And hiring a plumber will ensure that you don't have to go through the stress of a burst pipe in the future. Contact a plumbing service for more information.