It’s a moment no homeowner wants to experience – a pipe bursts and water floods into your home. As much as you might dread the moment, there’s nothing you can do to guarantee it won’t happen. That said, you may be able to minimize the damage by preparing for the worst. If you find yourself dealing with a burst pipe in Dundalk, follow these steps and limit the devastation before you call for burst pipe repair.
1. Turn Off the Water
As long as your water remains on, your home can experience damage. Shut off the water as soon as you notice the leak, and water should stop flowing. Typically, water shut off valves are near water heaters, in basements, or under crawl spaces. To best prepare for a burst pipe, familiarize yourself with your plumbing and know where to find the valve.
After you shut off the water, open your faucets. This allows the remaining water to drain out, which takes the pressure out of your plumbing system. As a result, you prevent the rest of your pipes from freezing and bursting.
2. Turn Off Electricity
If there are any outlets, light fixtures, or wiring near your burst pipe, you need to shut off the electricity. Head to the breaker box and shut off power to the breakers or the whole home if necessary. Your efforts reduce the risk of shock as well as reduce the potential damage.
If you have another adult in the home with you at the time of the incident, divide and conquer. Have someone turn off the water while the other turns off the electricity. Your quick action can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs.
3. Find the Pipe
Before anything else happens, try to locate the burst pipe. Place a large bucket under the leak to catch the water. If the crack is small, consider patching it up until the plumber arrives.
However, keep in mind that even a small crack requires the expertise of licensed plumbing services near me. There’s no substitute for an experienced hand when it comes to plumbing repairs.
4. Call Your Plumber
Once you complete all of the steps above, call your plumber. In the case of a burst pipe, time is of the essence and you need an emergency repair. Don’t waste time on plumbers that can’t get to you right away.
Long before you ever experience a plumbing emergency, you should research your local plumbing companies. When you are in need of a plumber, you might not have time to research. It’s best to prepare for the worst and know who to call when you have a burst pipe or any other plumbing issue.
Whatever you do, avoid the temptation to handle a repair on your own. All too often, DIY repair attempts result in more damage and expenses.
5. Call an Electrician
If the leak was near any electrical components, you should call an electrician as well. There could be hidden damage to your electrical system. To protect your home and your family, have an electrician check your wiring for water damage.
6. Document Damage
By this point, you’re probably eager to start on the clean up. But before you do, you need to document the damage. You may be able to file an insurance claim, and you need pictures of the damage to substantiate your claim. Take close pictures of anything in your home that was affected by the burst pipe.
When necessary, use a measuring tape to document the size of items. Try to take pictures from various angles and to get video footage. If you want to have a successful insurance claim, you need plenty of evidence—the more photos, the better the chance of a successful claim.
7. Begin the Clean Up
The longer water sits on your surfaces, the more damage it will do. It’s essential to clean up the water before too much time passes. To start, remove personal items from the area. Place them in an unaffected area and use fans to dry them off.
If you had carpet in the damaged area, remove it and dry the floor underneath it. Use old towels, tee shirts, and anything you have available to soak up the water. For burst pipes that resulted in several inches of water, you should use a pump or a wet/dry vacuum. You can use your own or rent one from a hardware store.
Once the water is gone, open all the windows in your home and set up fans to dry the floors and walls. Don’t turn on your HVAC system, or you could spread unwanted particles throughout your home.
Throw Out or Disinfect
Unfortunately, water causes mold to grow on your cherished possessions. Many items that come into contact with the water need to be thrown out. If something can’t be dried out and disinfected, it belongs in the garbage.
If you have a significant amount of damage, you might need to hire a mold remediation specialist. They have the necessary knowledge and tools to make sure there’s no more mold in your home.
8. File an Insurance Claim
After a burst pipe, you only have a short time to file an insurance claim. Most companies have short windows for filing claims, and missing that window means you receive no compensation. As soon as you document the damage, call your insurance company.
You should also familiarize yourself with the policy. Because the policies can be difficult to understand, you can opt to work with a public adjuster. They will read your policy and tell you what you need to know about filing a claim. Typically, they offer this service at no cost to you.
Preparing for a Burst Pipe Repair
Now that you know what to do if you have a burst pipe, do you know who to call? Here at Reliability Home Services, we’re always ready for plumbing emergencies. You can count on us for your burst pipe repair, along with any other plumbing issues you have in your Dundalk home or business. Give us a call today and learn more.