Important Information On How To Handle A Burst Pipe
Do you know what to do if your water pipes freeze and burst? Do you know how to handle the resulting flood and subsequent water removal? Here are some tips to make sure you and your belongings are safe:
Turn off the water: The sooner you get the water to the pipe shut off, the better. If the pipe burst inside a wall, don't wade through the water. Try to figure out a way around it. Water that is flooding inside a wall could end up electrocuted and dangerous. If the only way to the outside cutoff is through a window, replacing a damaged screen is better than potentially electrocuting yourself. If you can get to your electric meter safely, you should also shut off all power to your home until you know it's safe to turn it back on.
Find the break: If the pipe burst while you were asleep, a large portion of your home could be flooded. Look for signs that water has been coming out of a certain part of your walls or that the pipes behind your washing machine burst. Because they're exposed to colder temperatures, pipes running through exterior walls and your attic or crawlspace are the ones that are most likely to burst.
Contact professionals: Water removal can be a tricky prospect for the average person. If it's not done quickly, your carpets and walls could quickly start to grow mold. Any furniture that has gotten damp should also be dried out quickly, before it starts to attract vermin like roaches. While the water removal process is going on, you should also call a plumber and an electrician out to inspect for and fix any damage that has occurred. The plumber will be able to insulate your pipes, to help prevent them from freezing again. The electrician can also help you install pipe warmers, that will keep your pipes above freezing.
Take pictures of everything: Does your insurance company cover flood damage from burst pipes? If so, you should take pictures of your entire house while you wait for the professionals to arrive. Although your insurance agent will probably take their own pictures, having your own record of what happened is a good way to help ensure that your claims are paid promptly. You should also take pictures of the plumber and electrician as they work, so that there is a record of exactly what repairs were done.