Winter comes with its own set of challenges. Among them is the danger of frozen pipes. When your pipes freeze, they can crack or burst, leaving you with a soggy mess and a good amount of damage. Yes, a burst pipe is no fun, but with the right know-how, you can mitigate the damage and move on. Here’s what you need to know and do if you’re dealing with damage from a burst pipe.
When you discover a burst pipe, the very first thing to do is shut off your water main. The main valve is usually located on the outside of your house, or indoors in the basement (probably close to your water heater). If you’re unsure of where your water main valve is, now would be a good time to find it.
Once you’ve shut off the main water supply, the leak should eventually stop. After that, turn on all of your faucets, starting with the cold taps. This will help water still left in other pipes drain out and hopefully avoid any more pipes freezing. You should also flush your toilet. Note, you may have to do this a few times until the tank stops refilling. Next, turn off your hot water heater and repeat the process with your hot taps.
Burst pipes usually mean a good amount of spilled water. Locate it and mop it up promptly. This will prevent mold and mildew from growing. However, if the burst pipe led caused more damage than just water, don’t touch or remove anything. Finish clearing out the water and leave everything else alone.
The reason not to touch anything is because you’ll need an accurate description to file an insurance claim. Take as many pictures of the affected area as possible. If you can see where the pipe burst, start there. Be sure to also document any damage to your home along with any possessions that got caught in the burst.
In most cases, your homeowner’s insurance should cover a burst pipe. However, most companies only consider cases that are “sudden and accidental.” In other words, if you’ve had a leaky pipe for a while and never did anything about it, you might have a harder time. If you’re unsure about your policy, contact your provider.
Need some repair work done? Super Terry is standing by and ready to help! Our phone answers 24/7 to make sure you can start getting things back to normal. Contact Terry’s Plumbing for all of your plumbing needs.