You thought you took the necessary steps to protect your home from freezing temperatures, but now you’re dealing with a burst pipe. What should you do? First of all, stay calm. Then, follow these steps.
Shut off your water and potentially your electricity
If a pipe bursts in your home, the first thing you should do is turn off your water to minimize flooding damage. Every homeowner should know where the main water valve is. Find it and shut it off immediately! If necessary, you should also turn off electricity to the areas of your home where the flooding is occurring.
If you are living in an apartment and do not have access to the building’s water supply or electric services, call your landlord or building manager as soon as you notice a problem.
Call a plumber
Next, call a plumber. If your plumber does not offer 24-hour services, do some research. A quick online search should yield services in your area that work round the clock.
Move your belongings
Move anything you can away from leaking pipes to minimize damage. This includes furniture, clothing, art, or any other items that can be damaged by water. Be extremely careful with electronic devices that may have come in contact with water.
Remove as much water as you can
Get together as many buckets, pots, pans or any other containers you have and start collecting the water. You want to get as much water out as quickly as possible to avoid problems with mold and mildew. Towels and mops or even a wet/dry vacuum can also help with this process. If you don’t own a wet-dry vac, try renting one from your local hardware or home improvement store.
Set up fans and a dehumidifier in the affected area to remove moisture from the air and dry things out faster. Make sure to keep an eye on the dehumidifier and empty it before it fills up. Desiccant products like silica gel can also help for more serious damage. You can apply tubs or sachets of the gel near areas most affected by water such as floors or walls.
For more severe damage, such as leaks affecting multiple rooms or floors of your home or cases where leaks have gone unnoticed for more than 8 hours, a water mitigation or restoration professional may be required.
Call you insurance agent
Get in touch with your insurance agent to keep them up to date about what is happening. Photographs and notes recording the extent of the damage will help you and your agent when it comes time to file an insurance claim.