What Should You Do When a Pipe Bursts in Your Home

Flooding from Pipe Burst

No homeowner can go for long without plumbing problems occurring: a stopped up toilet, various leaks from kitchen appliances and more. The most damaging plumbing problem occurs when a pipe bursts, sometimes flooding your home before you even know what’s happened. That’s a lot of water damage going on at once, and you’ll need to deal with it as soon as possible. Besides damaging materials like drywall and flooring, the long term effects of so much excess moisture translates to mold growth. Mold spores can travel throughout your ventilation system wreaking havoc on everyone’s health.

If the flood happened in a small area, perhaps in only one room, you should be able to perform most of the clean up yourself. However, if a major water leak has occurred affecting multiple rooms, even traveling from an upper section to a lower level of your home, or the leaking has gone unnoticed for more than 8 hours, you should contact a professional water mitigation company since very specialized drying equipment will likely be necessary.

Here’s what you need to do in order to handle a minimal amount of water damage:

Avoid electric shock!
When dealing with water invasion, your first task should be to shut the electrical power to your home if the leak has occurred near electrical appliances and outlets. This way you can focus on your clean up efforts and not have to worry about an electric shock.

Salvage what you can
It’s a given that you’re going to have soaked carpets and furniture and much of it may be ruined beyond repair. This is the time for some item-sorting triage. Move anything that is salvageable to a dry area, assuming these items have not absorbed a major amount of water. Your carpet will likely have to be replaced, but you should remove the water-soaked sections quickly.

It’s time to mop the floors
If there’s still considerable water on the floors use towels and a mop to dry the flooring. A wet-dry Shop-Vac can be used to effectively remove excess water. If you don’t have your own you can usually rent a unit at your local hardware and home improvement store.

Use fresh, dry air
Assuming it’s not raining outside, you should open doors and windows in order to bring fresh, dry air into your home. Also, if you have fans (any size will do) set them up near the flooded area and turn them on to their highest setting.

The last two steps utilize advanced methods for removing all of that excess water. You may not feel particularly confident in performing these tasks, and that’s understandable. But don’t fret, just call a professional restoration company like Orange Restoration and they will handle your water damage problem expertly.

Use a dehumidifier
You likely won’t have a portable dehumidifier on hand, but these units can be purchased or rented—or maybe you might have a friend or neighbor who has one and can borrow it. Dehumidifiers remove moisture directly from the air and can dry items more quickly than simple fans. However, you will have to monitor the unit and periodically empty any water collected by it. The reservoir is usually located at the back of the unit, so check often to see if it is full.

Use desiccant products
When you purchase garments or shoes you’ll notice that small packets of silica gel are often included in the packaging. That’s because silica gel is very good at absorbing moisture. So, besides using dehumidifiers and fans, you should visit your hardware and home improvement store to buy desiccant products. There are different versions, but the most common types are available in tubs or sachets of silica gel. Place the silica gel (in whatever form) near walls or flooring that have absorbed moisture.

The bottom line…
Remember, if you notice that water has seeped into the sub floor or the drywall, the most prudent course to take is to simply contact a professional restoration company immediately. These specialists possess all of the equipment, knowledge and experience to handle any sort of water damage. Additionally, they can remove and restore items and materials that have the potential to develop mold. Also, be aware that the longer porous materials are exposed to water saturation increases the deterioration of those materials, causing possible structural instability over time. Much of these materials will not be salvageable, particularly carpet backing, insulation and adhesives.

Professional restoration companies will employ thermal imaging technology, moisture readers and professional-grade drying equipment during the clean up process. This will go a long way in preventing any secondary damages and will also aid in safe-guarding your health and the overall stability of your home.