A burst water pipe can steal your peace of mind. This is because you keep worrying about the damages that will be left behind by the resulting floods. And that’s not all. If the burst happens after the water has gone through the meter, you will definitely be slapped with a big utility bill at the end of the month. There is also the possibility of the water being contaminated by bacteria and other disease causing organisms. A burst pipe might trigger dangerous short circuits in case the water comes into contact with electricity. If you have never experienced a burst pipe before, you may not know what to do when it comes around. The tips below can help in minimizing the damages that are caused by burst water pipes.
1. Locate the Burst Pipe
It’s easy to tell when all is not well with your plumbing system. First and foremost, you will notice wet walls or floor even when the weather is wet. The other indicator is that the pressure of the water flowing out of the taps will be low. And in some cases, the taps will be dry because the water is not coming through. When hunting for the burst pipe, you should start with the most common places such as the bathroom and beneath kitchen sinks. You should also sneak into the crawl space and check if the pipes below the floor are intact. You can also walk around the lawn, garden, driveways and pavements to see if there is a wet surface or a pool of water.
2. Turn Off the Water
Once you have located the burst pipe, it’s advisable you turn the water off at the main gate valve. If you have a map of your home, it will be much easier to locate the gate valve. Closing the gate valve helps in preventing more water from being wasted. But before you turn off the gate valve, you should ensure that you have enough water in the storage tanks that can sustain you until the problem is solved.
3. Clear the Mess
Burst pipes usually cause the water to spill all over. If you don’t remove the water, the floor of the house will definitely become slippery and make you vulnerable to accidental falls that can cause serious injuries. The water will also damage everything that crosses it path including electrical appliances, clothes and furniture. That’s why it’s recommended you swing into action after switching off the main supply. You can use buckets and mops or a vacuum cleaner to suck out the water. After that you will need to turn the heater on so that the house can dry much faster. To play it safe, it is in your best interest to call an experienced professional to help you. ServiceMaster is a reputable option as they can come and clean up water damage due to burst pipes in a quick and professional manner.
4. Cover the Damaged Pipe
Although the burst pipe might have to be replaced with a new one, it’s not a good idea to leave it uncovered even if the main gate valve has been switched off. This is because pests such as rats and cockroaches will create a dwelling place in the burst pipe. The pipe might also be contaminated by dust and dirt. It’s therefore recommended you cover the burst pipe temporarily with a piece of clean rubber until the damage is repaired.