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If you are a homeowner, perhaps the most dreaded plumbing disaster that you can expect is a burst pipe. Apart from natural disasters, a burst pipe is indeed the biggest calamity for a homeowner. And winter is particularly the season when you can expect your pipes to weaken and burst, especially if you live in a cooler region. But do you know how to handle pipe bursts? In this post, find out how you can handle pipe bursts and minimize damage to your property.

Step # 1 - Turn Off the Water Supply

The most important thing you need to do as soon as you find a burst pipe is to shut off the main water supply. The sooner you do it, the better it is for your property. Moreover, only with this single measure, you can significantly reduce the risk of severe damage to belongings.

Your main water supply valve is usually located near your water heater in the basement of your house. If you are not sure about your main water supply valve location, make sure you ask your plumber on their next visit to your home. Always remember that being proactive is the key to minimize damage due to plumbing disasters.

Once you turn off the water supply, it is best to turn on all your faucets so they can drain the remaining water in your pipes. Thus, relieving the pressure on your piping system of the house. Moreover, it will also be helpful if you flush all toilets in the house. Once the water is completely drained, don't forget to close all faucets.

Step # 2 – Shut Off the Electricity

Depending upon the location and the volume of water flowing out of your burst pipe, you may also need to shut off the electricity. It is a particularly important step if you think that the leaking water will enter the electrical socket. The main circuit breaker is usually located on top of the main electrical panel inside your home. If you are not sure about the location, take a closer look at the main electrical panel, and you will find out where the main circuit breaker is located.

Step # 3 – Locate the Burst Pipe

With all that has already happened in your house, you should locate the burst pipe. It is likely that the pipe has been leaking for quite some time. Moreover, the problem is more common in winter when uninsulated pipes are prone to freezing, which exerts a lot of pressure on your house's piping system. Furthermore, it is also possible that your pipes may also be experiencing a lot of stress due to fluctuating water pressure.

And lastly, pipes weaken over time, so old and rusted pipes are more prone to leakages and bursts.

Step # 4 – Call in a Professional

Now that you have already turned off the water and electricity supply and have located the burst pipe, it’s time to call in a professional as soon as possible. While most homeowners may feel that replacing a pipe is a DIY task, we always recommend calling in a professional. Only a professional plumber with the right expertise can determine the extent of damage and the state of the remaining piping system in your home. Once you call in a professional, they can complete the repair process just in time so you can return to your normal life as soon as possible.

Step # 5 – Document Evidence for Insurance Claims

In case of extensive damage, you may need to claim insurance. However, you can only do so if you have documented evidence appropriately. Make sure you take close-up photos of everything that the water has damaged. You can use a measuring tape to accurately show the height of the water that has been accumulated in your house as a result of the burst.

 Here it is important to note that you need to file a claim as soon as possible. In case of extensive water damage, it is common for mold to grow, and you only have a few hours to file your claim so you can get the most of your insurance coverage.

Step # 6 – Clean Up

This may be the most frustrating part of the process. If standing water in the room or your kitchen, you may be required to unplug all electronic appliances from the socket and move them to a safe and dry place. Next, you need to separate out all the items that have come in contact with water. Make sure you prioritize objects that are difficult to move or replace, such as your furniture, especially upholstery, carpets, computers, refrigerators, and televisions.

Moreover, you should also check all your important documents in the house area that has been affected by burst pipes. Keep them in a dry and safe place in the other parts of the house that are not affected by the damage.

Next, you need to dry up any wet areas of the house. Once the standing water is cleaned up, you can turn on your electricity and leave your windows open (depending upon the weather). You can also rely on your HVAC system to facilitate the drying process.

If it has been more than 72 hours since you first experienced water damage, there is a risk of mold growth, so you need to address this concern well in time. Make sure that the area is dried and disinfected. You can also call in professionals who have moisture detecting tools that can help prevent mold growth in your home.

As for the items that have been damaged by the water, such as carpets and rugs, electronics, and upholstered furniture, there is hardly anything that you can do apart from disposing them off.

Fortunately, a burst pipe is a plumbing disaster that you can prevent. By being proactive and scheduling regular plumbing maintenance, you can keep your pipes in great shape and prevent such disasters at home. To schedule preventive plumbing maintenance, schedule an appointment now.

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