There is almost nothing worse than when a water pipe bursts in your home. If you’ve never lived through it, you probably know somebody that it’s happened to. They’ll tell you that it can be scary, somewhat costly and especially cold. Brrrrr!
After all, we depend on our water pipes to heat our homes through the coldest months of the year. A burst water pipe can really put a damper on our otherwise warm and cozy lives.
How Do Water Pipes Burst?
Essentially, a water pipe bursts because the water inside of it freezes. Many people don’t know this, but one of water’s characteristics is that it expands as it freezes and solidifies. When ice expands beyond the capacity of the pipe that contains it, the pipe will eventually crack.
Of course, not all pipes break during the winter time. Usually, a water pipe that bursts is one that is too exposed to cold temperatures. For this reason, many homeowners prepare their pipes for winter by insulating them. When we forget to do this or just aren’t aware that our pipes are in danger is when we end up dealing with a burst water pipe.
What You Should Do If a Water Pipe Bursts
If you go to take a shower or turn on the sink and no water comes out, you’re most likely dealing with a burst water pipe. You will want to deal with it immediately in order to ensure that your home stays warm and you have access to running water.
Here’s what you should do:
1. Turn the water and electricity off
If you know where your home’s main water valve is, turn it off right away. This will prevent water from running through the pipe and minimize the damage your burst water pipe will cause.
Additionally, you’ll want to turn off the electricity in the area of the house where the pipe isn’t working. You want to make sure that no electric currents are active in places where they might be in danger of getting wet.
2. Contact a professional water damage restoration service
You’ll need to find an expert trained in water pipe bursts. Most plumbers will have the knowledge and tools necessary to fix the problem. After you turn the electricity off, call your plumber and let them know what happened. Because many plumbers have fixed hours, you may have to search for one who provides round-the-clock services.
Tidal Wave Response is open 24/7 for those inconveniently timed late-night emergencies so you don’t have to wait. Every minute counts when it comes to water damage, as water starts causing damage to your home within minutes of exposure.
3. Start cleaning up
While you wait for the plumber to arrive, you’ll want to start dealing with the water leakage. Most likely, you’ll see at least small flooding happening somewhere in your home.
If you have a wet Shop-Vac or sump pump, you can begin to pump the water outside of the home. Otherwise, you’ll want to get as many towels and buckets as possible. The quicker you can remove the water from your home, the more likely you’ll be able to minimize the damage caused by your burst water pipe.
4. Prevent pipes from bursting again
After the damage has occurred, you’ll want to make sure that it never happens again. Make sure that the coldest areas of your home are well-insulated and protected from low temperatures. Once you experience a broken pipe, you know which areas in your home are at-risk. This is good, in a sense, because you can take the precautions necessary to prevent pipe bursts from reoccurring.
Talk to your plumber about the various forms of insulation that are available. If they can’t cold-proof the pipes themselves, they should be able to refer you to a contractor that can make sure your pipes stay warm in the future.