What to Do When a Pipe Bursts – Proper Emergency Response

Published: 12th October 2009
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As soon as you discover a burst pipe at your home, act quickly. A burst pipe can cause a lot of damage to the structures of your home and not to mention your belongings. Below are steps to follow in a burst pipe emergency in order to reduce water damage:
1. Stop the flow of water to your home.
Turn off the main water stop tap. It is usually installed either under your kitchen sink or in the area where the main water supply pipe is connected to your home. To avoid having to run around the house looking for the main water valve during an emergency, make sure every one in your household knows where it is located and how to shut it off.
Next, let the water drain out from the system by leaving the cold taps open and flushing all toilets. Also, keep the hot taps running but make sure to switch off the water heating system first. The leaks will stop once all the water has run through the faucets.
2. Locate the exact burst.
Find where along the pipe the burst occurred. Detecting all the burst is important to control damage. You may be able to patch up the crack if it's just a small one. If you discover that that the burst pipe is actually the main water supply pipe, professional repair would be necessary.
When investigating a leakage that has gone on for days, always check the ceiling first before entering a room. A bulging ceiling indicates it is in danger of caving in from the water contained in it resulting from the leak.
3. Hire a professional.
If your home has been flooded or there is significant water damage, turn off the main electrical supply first and then proceed to call a professional water damage restoration company to take care of water extraction and drying of your home and belongings.
You would also need to contact your plumber to repair or replace the broken pipes. Any electrical damage must be fixed by a professional electrician. In order to avoid further damage and for your own safety, it is strongly recommended to hire professionals instead to deal with the damages instead of attempting repair and restoration yourself.
4. Submit an Insurance Claim
In order to start the process of filing a homeowners insurance claim, you should notify your insurance company about the incident as soon as possible. Once you speak with your agent, he or she will give you advice on your next course of action with regards to submitting your claim. While you wait for your agent to arrive in your home, start documenting the damage by taking photographs or taking a video of what has happened.
Preventing Water Damage
With the help of a reliable plumber and a professional water damage restoration crew, fixing broken pipes and restoring your home to its previous state is really not a problem. However, you could save yourself all the expense and the trouble of hiring help by stopping water damage before it occurs. Take the time to learn about preventive measures that are easy to do and easy on the budget.
Leo Nov is an editorial staff member of RestorationSOS.com, a leading service provider for water damage cleanups. To learn more about burst pipes and flooding basement, visit RestorationSOS.com.

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