Pipe Burst? Don't Panic! Plan Your Response
When dealing with a pipe burst, it's crucial that you take immediate action to prevent lasting water damage. Each minute that you delay increases the risk of extensive and costly damage, as well as disruption to your daily life.
Your Response to a Pipe Burst Situation
Prevent Bursting Pipes
Of course, prevention is the best course of action. When you know how to avoid the most common causes of the situation, you can significantly reduce the probability of flooding. Watch out for the following signs of trouble, especially along with your West Valley City, UT, home's main water line:
- Aging pipes may become cracked and weakened over time. Depending on the materials used to build the home, pipes may last between 20 and 50 years. Even if the rest of your home appears to be in good condition, if it was built in the 1970s or earlier, the pipes need to be replaced.
- Clogs from food, waste, and dirt create pressure along the pipeline.
- Corrosion can be recognized through visual inspections, a change of water pressure, or changes in the smell and color of the water coming through the pipes.
- Freezing temperatures affect pipes that run along exterior walls. As the water inside freezes or the metal pipes reach the freezing point, clogs or hot water can cause a burst.
Recognize a Water Leak
Sometimes, there's a clear gush of water that you can't miss, but at other times a cracked pipe happens out of sight. When this is the case, it's important to recognize signs of trouble at a hidden spot along the waterline. These include an unexplained increase in your water bill, increased sounds of water such as drips or running water behind the walls, puddles in the home, or signs of moisture on the ceilings or walls.
Turn Off the Water
As soon as you recognize a leak or pipe burst, shut off the water. If you aren't sure where the water is coming from, turn off the main valve. This may be in the basement, under the kitchen sink, or somewhere along the exterior of the home.
Disconnect the Electricity
Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. Shut off power to your home before coming into contact with any leaking water or moisture.
Drain the Pipes
With the water and power turned off, open the cold-water faucets throughout your home, flush the toilets, and open the hot-water lines to drain the pipes.
Repair the Broken Pipe
It may be possible for you to complete the necessary repair to a cracked pipe, but in some situations, a professional response may be required. The same is true when it comes to cleaning up and repairing areas damaged because of the water. Professional property cleaners do more than address visible damage; they also assess for hidden areas of moisture, the possibility of mold, and other vulnerable points along the water pipes.
Your first response to water gushing from a pipe may be a moment of panic, but when you have a plan in place, you're prepared to minimize the chaos. Protecting your West Valley City, UT, home from water damage begins long before you face the risk of a pipe burst.