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What to Do if a Pipe Bursts In Your Home

A burst pipe is a homeowner's nightmare, as it can cause significant damage to your property and belongings. It's essential to take prompt action when you discover a burst pipe to minimize the damage and prevent potential hazards. 

In this article, we will discuss what to do if a pipe bursts in your home and the steps to take to mitigate the damage.

  • Identify the Burst Pipe

    The first step in dealing with a burst pipe is to identify it. Signs of a burst pipe include water stains on walls and ceilings, damp patches, and a decrease in water pressure. If you notice any of these signs, it's essential to investigate further to determine the source of the problem.
  • Pipes can burst under numerous circumstances and conditions; however, they most commonly occur during freezing temperatures. Or, even more commonly, you’ll notice the leak when temperatures thaw out. But ice is far from the only culprit. Other factors include corroded pipes, bulky clogs, and excessively high water pressure.

    Common locations for burst pipes include exterior walls – particularly on exterior walls with toilets or sinks – garages, and in crawl spaces where the crawl space vents are left open.

  • Shut Off the Water Supply

    Once you have identified the burst pipe, the next step is to shut off the water supply to prevent any further damage. If you can’t identify where the pipe is leaking – or if it’s behind an enclosed wall – don’t spend too much time looking. Shut off the water and let a licensed professional come out to diagnose the cause later.
  • To shut off the water, locate the main water valve, which is usually located near the water meter, and turn it off. (Most homes also have a shut off valve in the crawl space, basement, or water closet inside the home.) This will stop the flow of water to the affected area and prevent any additional flooding.

    (Pro Tip: Figure out where your water shutoff valve is ahead of time – before an emergency situation occurs. If it takes you an extra 10-15 minutes to find that valve after a major leak starts, it could mean thousands of dollars in additional damage.)

  • Turn Off Electricity and Gas

    If the burst pipe is near any electrical or gas lines, it's essential to turn off the electricity and gas to prevent potential hazards. This will ensure that there is no risk of electrocution or fire. 
  • You can typically turn off electricity through your home’s main breaker box. Gas can be turned off near your home’s gas meter. If you're unsure how to turn off the electricity or gas, contact a professional immediately.

  • Contact an Emergency Restoration Service

    After you've taken these initial steps, it's crucial to contact an emergency restoration service to help with the cleanup and restoration process. They have the equipment and expertise to handle water damage and prevent further damage to your property. These professionals can also help with the aforementioned issues of shutting off supply lines.
  • “Often, most homeowners are unaware of where or how to shut off their home’s water in an emergency,” says Ryan Kelly of Chicago Water and Fire. “Our response teams are trained on locating shutoffs and draining faulty lines, which help reduce further damage if facing a loss from a failed supply line.”

  • Remove Water and Moisture

    Once the emergency restoration service arrives, they will assess the damage and begin the cleanup process. This involves removing any standing water and moisture from the affected area to prevent mold growth and further damage to your property.
  • Dry Out Affected Area

    After removing the water, the next step is to dry out the affected area completely. This can be done with the help of dehumidifiers and air movers, which will help to remove any remaining moisture from the air and walls.
  • Restore Your Home

    The final step in the process is to restore your home to its pre-loss condition. This involves fixing and replacing pipes, repairing any damaged walls, ceilings, and flooring, and replacing any damaged furniture or belongings. Your emergency restoration service can help you with this process and ensure that your home is restored with minimal damage.

Adding it All Up

There’s never a good time to have a pipe burst in your home. It’s inconvenient, no matter what. But with the right plan in place – and a reliable emergency restoration service on your side – you can move past this issue faster and with less stress.

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