A broken pipe can be a very unwelcome occurrence in your home. Even a small broken pipe can cause water damage to your house and your belongings. Your family's health could also be at risk. If a pipe breaks inside your house, use the following tips to make decisions that might help you keep damage at a minimum.
Stop Water from Flowing
When you first notice that the pipe is broken and water is getting everywhere, your first move should be to turn the water off altogether. The easiest way to do this is to shut off the main water switch. This switch is usually located next to your water heater.
While turning off the switch will mean that no new water is coming into your house, water may keep flowing. If this happens, you need to attempt to drain all the pipes of water. Turn on all the faucets in your home and wait for them to empty out. As that happens, water should stop flowing altogether so you no longer have to worry that the problem will get worse.
Soak Up Water
When the water has stopped leaking, your next move should be to sop up as much water as you possibly can before too much damage is done. Use towels, mops and anything else that might absorb standing water. If you have a wet-dry vacuum, be sure to get it quickly and start sucking up water right away. You may also have to rent a sump pump from a local hardware store.
Try getting water off of wood surfaces first; water can cause wood to splinter or become warped. It may also cause delamination of finished wood surfaces. You can replace carpets, but damaged wood is not as easy to replace.
When you have soaked up as much water as possible, use fans and a dehumidifier to dry out the area.
Assess Damage to Your Home and Belongings
Many times, there is damage to drywall as a result of a broken pipe. If this is the case, you might consider cutting out that part of the drywall so you don't have to worry about bacteria and growing mold. Mold can also collect in carpets that have been saturated with water. A water damage contractor can advise you about what can be saved and what needs to be replaced.
Go through books, keepsakes and documents to see how bad the damage is. You may be able to make copies of any paper documents that got wet and you may be able to air out clothing and other items. If you aren't sure whether something can be restored, put it in a freezer bag and stick it in the freezer to stop any bacteria from growing until you can ask a water damage expert what to do with it.
For more information, contact Accutech Restoration or a similar company.