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Homeowners Guide To Dealing With Burst Pipes

Homeowners Guide To Dealing With Burst Pipes

It is impossible to live in a house and not have a few things get damaged along the way.

At some point, homeowners will have to deal with the inevitable damage to their plumbing system, like burst pipes. While it may not be easy to recover from without professional help, it is not impossible either. The key is to remain prepared, whether it is a small leak or a burst pipe.

If you are a homeowner looking for a little bit of guidance, you’re in luck. We have carefully gathered some information and put together this short homeowners guide to dealing with burst pipes. Hopefully, this will be an eye-opening read.

Homeowners Guide To Dealing With Burst Pipes

Burst Pipe In A Wall

The First Signs

One of the first things that you need to know about is the signs of burst pipes. Usually, there are minor tell-tale signs like a change in the water pressure or discoloured water. In such cases, there is a chance the pipes are damaged.

In addition to that, a hike in the water bill and small puddles forming near the sinks are also unmistakable signs that something is wrong with the plumbing.

Are You Protected?

The next thing to keep in mind as a homeowner is that the house must be protected from certain kinds of damage. This is primarily so that any issue does not cause too much damage to your pocket. Most insurances cover heavy damage like floods or natural disasters, but some can protect you against major plumbing issues as well.

The key is to find the right insurance policy to ensure you stay protected in case of any mishaps. Feel free to discuss everything with the agent and fully understand what is covered and what is not. This is so that adequate steps can be maintained to take care of the non-protected elements as well.

Different Levels Of Danger

Types

The next step to understand in this scenario is - how much danger you are in. Burst pipes can be detrimental to the house’s structure. It is not always like that but ignoring leakages and burst pipes can cause severe damage.

The first type is a low-level type danger where there is just some leakage or a clogged drain. Next is a medium-level danger which covers burst pipes or roof leaks that can cause significant issues. And finally, we have a high-level danger caused by floods and natural disasters. When these are taken care of at the early stages, they don’t threaten the house itself.

Water Content

The following differentiation lies in the contents of the water. It is not always just the amount of water but also the type of water that could further enhance the damage. This is because not all types of water contain the contaminants that can harm you or the house.

Usually, leaks from faucets or pipes in the house are not that dangerous and considered clean water. If the water is leaking from dishwashers or washing machines, then it may be somewhat dirty and have harsh chemicals that can harm you but not too severely. Lastly, any water coming back in from the drains or flood water is harmful and can cause critical damage and health issues.

What Can You Do?

Now, you have identified the issue - there is a burst pipe on your hands. But, what can you do now? Read on below to find out the various steps you can take after you find a burst pipe.

Repairing A Burst Pipe

1. Turn off the water

One of the first things you will have to do is turn off the water supply. This is the perfect way of minimising water damage and keeping the bills down. If you are having trouble locating the water supply, check under the water heater or look for valves in the basement or any crawl spaces.

Once the water supply has been shut off, the next step is to drain out the faucets. To do this, turn on the taps and flush every toilet, and at some point, the water will stop running and filling the cistern. This way, there will be no pressure in the lines, and it can minimise the water leakage.

There might be a chance that you will have to turn off the electricity as well. This is not a necessary step, but if the leak is big enough, it can affect the electricals in the house. So, as a safety measure, it is best to turn it off.

2. Identify The Source

The next thing will be to pinpoint the source of the leak. One of the biggest signs is seepage or bulging walls, depending on how big the leak is and how long it has been going on. This is why catching the leak at an early stage is so important. As it keeps going on, it will affect the walls and even floors of the house.

As confirmed by many plumbing services, the best thing to do is to fix it before it turns into a big bulge in the wall. Also, if the pipe has burst and it is one of the main lines, it is advisable to have a professional look at it so they can fix and replace it on time.

3. Calling In The Professionals

No matter what stage of identification you are at, calling in experts is never a bad idea. In fact, the earlier you call them, the better it is for the house. Conduct proper research on services and see what suits you the best.

We suggest going for a reliable team that is in the business for a long time and can offer more than just one service. This is because plumbing issues are never a one-and-done thing. These problems tend to creep up on us and, most of the time, are unannounced. So, having a team that knows you and knows the house will be beneficial.

There is no way anyone can just do what a licensed plumber can. It is not just about calling someone to fix an issue; it is about making sure it does not happen again. The benefit of a trained professional working on the issue is that you don’t have to worry about the tools and the method. That is precisely what they are there for.

4. Get Ready For An Insurance Claim

The reason we mentioned briefly about insurance was for this step. Water damage to the property can be claimed under specific insurance policies, and so you can get everything fixed without burning a hole in your pocket. However, it is easier said than done.

The first thing you would want to do is take pictures of everything before the licensed professional turns up to fix it. Then, measure the water damage and take videos for proof. The idea is to communicate how severe the damage is. Additionally, taking pictures from different angles helps and gives a better idea.

Photo Of Flooded House

While this is a bit unconventional, many insurance companies recommend taking videos of the damage with the water on. This gives a proper idea of how the pipe has burst and how the damage has been caused.

After this, you will have about two to three days before the mould starts to grow. The best thing to do will be to file the claim after the videos and pictures have been taken. And then, it’s just about waiting it out to see if they approve the claim. One highly advisable thing is to reach out to professionals who can review your policy before you go ahead with claiming it.

5. Clean Up

As we mentioned, you will have about two or three days before the water starts damaging the property and forming mould in places. So, start cleaning up immediately to avoid any more damage than the water has already done. Here are a few ways to ensure the area is properly clean and will cause minimal damage any further.

Get Your Belongings

The first and most important thing is to check what is not damaged and keep it away safely. If there are many electricals in the flooded room, turning off the main electricity and unplugging appliances is advised. Other than that, take a look and see what has not come in contact with water and put them in a safe and dry place.

Dry The Wet Areas Thoroughly

If you have carpets that have come in contact with the water, remove those from the area. Next, you can soak off any additional water using towels or even mop the area properly with disinfectant. This will help clean the area and help prevent any other bacterial damage.

Throw Anything That Is Damaged

You do not have to throw away everything, but there is a good chance that anything submerged in water can grow mould. So, to avoid mould growth, it is best to eliminate all soaked articles. This can include electronics, furniture, and especially carpets and rugs.

Stop Mould From Growing

Disinfectant is your best friend in this step. Wipe and clean down everything thoroughly so that there is no chance of any mould growing. Additionally, you can buy mould detection kits or hire some professionals for a thorough check.

Dealing With Your Burst Pipe

There are multiple reasons as to why a pipe might burst. This includes freezing of the pipe, high water pressure, or even weak pipes that have rusted.

The best way to prevent it would be to keep a check on the pipes system regularly. Additionally, you can add insulation to the pipes or get them maintained to avoid such a mishap. Maintaining a consistent house temperature and ensuring it doesn’t dip too low can also help prevent pipes from bursting.

We hope this homeowner’s guide on dealing with burst pipes has been informative. We will be back soon with many more guides like this.

See you next time!