Winter weather can take its toll on your home in a number of ways, but one of the most damaging ways it can do so is in the form of a burst water pipe. A ruptured pipe in your home can cause structural and cosmetic damage, and can open the floodgates for a slew of problems. Here's what to do to make sure you don't have lasting damage to your home as a result of a burst pipe.
1. Turn off the water to your home.
This step is obvious to many homeowners, but actually knowing how to go about this crucial step is the difference between needing an emergency plumber and a mop and needing a huge water damage restoration job. Find your water main (which is likely either in your basement, in cold climates, or outside, in warmer climates) and mark it with some brightly colored tape to ensure you'll be able to find it when you're scrambling and cold after discovering the burst pipe.
2. Call an emergency plumber.
Calling an emergency plumber here is key, as your regular plumber may not be able to come right away. Predetermining who to call in a burst water pipe situation will help streamline the process and put you much closer to your next hot shower. Have the number for an emergency specialist company who is available 24/7, as these emergencies tend to happen when it's least convenient.
Additional Step: Shut off the Power
In cases where there is significant water spilling from the affected pipe, it is smart to shut off your home's power first and foremost to avoid electrocution or other dangerous electricity-related issues. Especially if there is any flooding in your home or if there is a socket or extension cord anywhere near your water main, shutting off the power could save a life, even though this step is often overlooked by homeowners.
Preliminary Step: Invest in Pipe Insulation
To nip a broken pipe in the bud, invest in some pipe insulation. This kind of protection is dirt cheap and easy to install on your own, and such a small measure can help avoid a frozen fiasco even if the power goes out or you go away for a while.
Few home disasters can be as taxing, mentally and financially, as a burst water pipe. Issues such as water damage, electric problems and even serious injury can result if you are poorly prepared for a winter catastrophe such as this. A little foresight and research can go a long way in making sure that if this happens to you, your home, possessions, and life will be safe from harm.