Burst Pipe Emergency? Here’s What to Do Next

Water damage from a burst pipe can ruin floors, walls, and possessions. Calling a professional plumber promptly is key to getting repairs done properly

Uh oh! You walk into the kitchen and are met with a pool of water on the floor. Your house has experienced a burst pipe! It’s time to take quick action to eliminate this soggy, stressful mess before it can cause additional headaches for your family. Here is a handy guide of the steps you can take when a pipe bursts in your home.

First Things First: Stop the Flow

Locate your home’s water shut-off valve and turn it to the off position. This will prevent any more water from flowing out of the burst pipe. Depending on the location, you may also be able to switch off water to just the affected area. If you’re unsure where your shut-off valves are, now is the time to locate and label them if this hasn’t already been done.

Call a Plumber Right Away

Avoid the temptation of trying to make repairs yourself, as there may be extensive damage behind walls or under floors that aren’t immediately noticeable. Let professionals handle the repairs. Contact an emergency plumber, like W.J. McNabb, and schedule an appointment ASAP. We can evaluate the extent of the damage and determine the best way to service your home so your family can get back to normal.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance provider of the incident. Burst pipes may be covered under your homeowners or renters’ policy, especially if the burst happened suddenly and without warning. Save the burst section of the pipe so it can be examined by the insurer. Be diligent in documenting and reporting everything as this could help cover some or all the repair costs.

Protect Your Floors and Walls

Place buckets, pans, or towels beneath the leak to minimize water damage to the rest of your home. Since water is a very good conductor of electricity, avoid standing in any puddles around your house while waiting for the plumber. If live wires have been compromised, the electricity can travel through the puddles and shock you. Check for dripping water stains in rooms below the leak. Pull back any wet carpets and move furniture away from affected areas.

Document the Damage

As we stated previously, take photos of all water damage for insurance claims and repair records. The more you document, the better. Note the time the leak began, the source if known, and any problem areas. If mold starts developing later, images from immediately after the fact can prove that the damage was done promptly, and not over time due to neglect. Careful documentation can ensure that your family doesn’t have to pay more than you need to get your plumbing system repaired.

Prevent More Bursts

Until the pipe is repaired, turn off the water supply to appliances like icemakers, washing machines, and dishwashers. Avoid running taps or flush toilets that have connections to the burst pipe. When water service is restored, check for smaller leaks developing in joints or fittings.

Be Patient During Repairs

When your plumber needs to access pipe sections behind drywall or tile, they may need to cut into them. In some cases, pipe insulation and water heaters may need to be temporarily removed. For safety reasons, keeping pets and children out of the workspace during repairs is important. Additionally, there may be some temporary loss of water during the repair process.

Burst pipes are a headache, but contacting a plumber right away can minimize the damage and get your family back to normal ASAP.

Contact W.J. McNabb Plumbing to schedule an appointment for any plumbing repairs in your home.

If you have a plumbing emergency, give us a call and we will get a technician out to you as quickly as possible.

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