Your Pipe Burst! Now What?

  • Added:
    Nov 21, 2013
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Your Pipe Burst! Now What? Photo by Rachel  Robinson

One of a homeowner’s biggest nightmares is dealing with water problems, because it can damage virtually everything in your home. So, if your winter precautions didn’t protect you from burst pipes, here are the steps you should take to prevent damage.

1. Turn off the Water

It should go without saying that the first thing you should do when your pipe bursts is TURN OFF YOUR WATER. If you don’t know where your main shutoff valve is yet…find it. It’s different for every house.

2. Call a Professional

Now that the water has stopped flowing you can deal with the problem at hand. When a pipe bursts that means you’re dealing with a lot of water. You can do some things on your own to lessen the damage, but you’ll need some professional help.

Call a water damage mitigation professional. They will access the damage and clean it up. There are some things to be cautious of when hiring a professional. Don’t just hire the first person you find in the phone book. Be sure to qualify your professional. This means ask questions!

Are they certified in water/damage restoration?
Are they licensed?
Are they insured?
How long have they been doing this?

You’ll be able to determine from the way they answer if they are the real thing. Follow your gut. You want the job done right, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, you are the one paying for the service.

3. Minimize the Damage

While your professional is on their way, get to work. Put wax paper or plastic wrap underneath furniture to keep it from soaking up water. Move anything that’s sensitive to moisture such as pictures and watercolors. Turn off all electronics and move them to a dry place before turning them back on.

Make sure you check all the places where water could go. If the pipe is upstairs, check the rooms underneath for water damage.

4. Contact Your Insurance Agency

Next, contact your insurance company. Big and sudden leaks should be covered by your homeowners insurance. Some insurance companies will try to send you their own water contractor so be aware of that, or they will work with the professional you choose.

5. Check and Double Check

Don’t put off calling help. Mold will begin growing in your walls within three days. Mold problems make it tougher to sell a home later down the road. Some states require you to disclose any previous water issues when selling a home, and if the problem wasn’t handled properly, it will reduce the price of your home.

Once your professional finishes drying your house, don’t let them leave just yet. One of the most important things is to make sure your house really is dry. Water mitigation professionals use what’s called a “drying report.” Ask to see the report for yourself. Don’t let them leave until you do.

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Owning a home can be both a wonderful blessing and lifetime commitment. As hard as you may try to take care of your home, accidents and other problems will arise. In times like these, it is important to call professionals who can fix the problem and maintain our home’s value and your sanity.

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