A burst pipe can create extensive water damage to your property and belongings. The moment that you learn you have a burst pipe treat it as an emergency! Below are the immediate steps you should follow to mitigate the damage.
Stop the Water Flow
If it is safe to do so, turn off the main stop tab to shut off the main water supply. This is usually located either in the area where the main service pipeline connects to the property, or under your kitchen sink.
Turn ON all cold water tabs to allow the pipe to drain out the existing water. Turn OFF the hot-water heater, then turn ON all hot taps and flush all toilets to aid in draining. All leaks should cease once there is no more water running through, or in, the pipe.
Find the Spot of Burst
Immediately, locate the exact point of burst to prevent any further damage. Depending on the severity, determines the next step of action. If it is a tiny crack, patching it up may fix the problem temporarily. Although, if the damage is in a main water supply line, it needs to be repaired and dealt with professionally, regardless of the cause or size of the break.
If the leak has gone on for a long period-of-time, be extremely careful when entering different rooms. If the ceilings appear to bulge, it means it is holding loads of water, creating instability, and could cave in at any moment. If noticed right away, place a bucket underneath to catch the drip preventing such damage. Remember to turn off electrical supply to the effected area immediately, and NEVER touch anything electrical if it’s wet.
Seek Professional Assistance
Call a professional water-damage restoration company to extract the water and dry it out. Their technician’s should have the necessary certifications to administer the most efficient methods for extraction, drying and dehumidification, using state-of-the-art technology.
The restoration company will fix or replace burst pipes and repair any damaged electrical wiring. Attempting to do the repairs and restoration on your own can be dangerous and cause further damage, so it is best to let the experts do what they are trained to do.
Contact Your Insurance Company
It is best to contact your insurance company right away to begin your insurance claim. An insurance adjuster will assess the damage and the restoration company will work with them to get your property to its pre-damaged condition.
Tips to Prevention
While professionals can fix a burst pipe and restore a water-damaged property, water always wins and prevention is the best medicine. NiDirect suggests taking the following simple steps will significantly reduce the risk of burst pipes within your property. The following can help prevent your pipes from freezing:
- Keep the home as warm as possible even if you are out
- Lag pipes in exposed or draughty places
- Leave the trap door to roofspace open to let warm air flow in
- See that taps are turned off properly, especially last thing at night
- Never use an electric, gas or paraffin heater in the roofspace
- Become familiar with your water supply system now and find the main stopcock which turns off the water supply to your property