What To Do When A Pipe Bursts In Your Home

There is nothing worse for a homeowner than finding a burst pipe and a water leak somewhere on your property. This is something that happens more commonly than you would like, so it is a good idea to be prepared.

In this guide, we are sharing everything you need to know regarding a burst pipe, including the signs of a broken pipe as well as what you should do for this time-sensitive issue.

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Signs Of A Busted Water Pipe

Sometimes, there will be signs of a busted pipe before serious damage occurs. To keep yourself prepared, the following are symptoms of a busted pipe that you should look out for to prevent further damage:

  • Fluctuating water pressure
  • Discolored, rusty water that has a strange smell
  • Clanging noises coming from the pipes
  • Puddles forming under the sinks
  • A sudden spike in water bill payments

If you notice any of these signs of a busted water pipe, then you will need to act fast to prevent additional damage to your home.

What To Do When Your Pipes Burst

There are some things that you should do as soon as possible if you notice that your pipes have burst at home, such as:

  • Turn Off Your Water and Drain The Faucets

The first thing you need to do if you notice a burst pipe in your home is to turn the water off. 

The sooner you can shut your water off, the better, as this will minimize the chances of water damage. You can turn your water off yourself, and your main water shut-off valve is very likely to be located near your water heater, so check a crawl space or the basement.

Once the water has been shut off, you will now need to drain the remaining cold water in your pipes. You can do this by running the faucets, which will not only drain the water but also relieve the pressure on your pipe system, which will prevent additional areas from freezing.

As well as running the faucets, flush all of the toilets in the home too until the water runs out.

After the water has stopped running from the faucets, any leaks should stop. Depending on the location and size of the leak, you may also have to turn off the electricity in your home. 

If you think that the leak has already been intercepted with an electrical outlet or socket in your home, this is a serious issue that you will need to deal with immediately.

  • Locate The Burst Pipe

After draining the water, your next step is to try and locate the burst pipe.

If the leak has been happening for a while, you will need to be careful when entering rooms and check for bulging ceilings or other warning signs that water damage has already occurred.

Should you catch a leak early enough, place a bucket underneath to capture all the draining water.

  • Call In Professional Help

As soon as possible, call in experts to help you with your burst pipes and to prevent further damage within the home.

You will need to hire a professional plumber to fix or replace your burst pipes. If you have any additional damage, such as close to electrical systems, then you will also need to hire a reliable electrician.

The costs of repairing a burst pipe can vary based on the damage and your location, but it has been reported that homeowners spend between $1,000 and $4,000 on burst pipes. This price will also be affected if you have to use out-of-hours emergency services.

  • Document Any Damage For Insurance Purposes

If the damage from your burst pipes is extensive, then you should document it for insurance purposes. Make sure to take photos of the damaged areas and continue to do so throughout the entire repair process.

Take close-up images of the water damage and use a measuring tape in the images to show the size of the damage, as this will make it easier to claim on your insurance. Ensure you take the same image from multiple angles to show the extent of the damage. When taking photos of the water damage, you may need to turn the water back on for a short while to show the extent of the leaks. 

The more information you can collect, the easier it will be to make an insurance claim following burst pipes.

Once water damage has occurred, there is usually a very short period of around three days before microbes spread and mold grows. This is why you need to report a claim as soon as possible to prevent long-term issues and more expensive repairs.

If you do not know what is covered in your homeowner’s insurance, you can find out by reaching out to a local public adjuster. These will usually review your policy for free, so you will know what to expect before making a claim.

  • Start Cleaning Up

While a lot of the work will be done by a professional, if you are dealing with a leak, you will have to do some cleaning yourself. 

This should be mainly focused on drying wet areas as much as possible and working to keep them dry as much as you can. The longer water stands, the more likely it will be that mold will grow, so keep it dry. 


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