Burst water pipe damage can be a property owner’s worst nightmare. If not taken care of right away, a broken pipe will lead to costly maintenance fees and time wasted.
What’s worse, a burst water pipe, hidden in the walls, ceilings, the foundation or attic, is often invisible to the naked eye. If you don’t act fast, the price to pay will be regrettable.
This guide will help you take the necessary steps to reducing water damage from a burst water pipe.
1. Take immediate action
A broken pipe will add to your maintenance bill if you don’t get to it fast enough. These next steps will help you lessen the after-effects of a burst water pipe:
Turn off your water supply
The first thing you’ll want to do is locate the main source of your water supply. If you don’t know where this is, you can call an expert to guide you to find its location.
Turn off the power
If there’s a chance that water may come in contact with any electrical unit in the area, or if the area is completely flooded, you’ll want to turn off the power source to your electricity and gas.
If you have to stand in the water to turn off the electricity, consult with an electrician.
2. Save your valuables
If you have valuables near the flood area, remove them immediately.
If there has been damage to your valuables, you can store them in a freezer bag until you hire a water damage expert who can assess whether your valuables can be salvaged.
3. Seal your pipes
Identify where your leak is coming from and locate the pipe that is causing the leak. Once you’ve done that, there are a few cheap and effective ways (mostly temporary) that you can seal any cracks in your pipe.
Obviously, serious water damage will require expert help. we recommend you contact an expert if this is the case.
How to seal a burst water pipe
No one likes to spend money on a broken pipe, but many property owners go this route to save from having to pay for water damage expenses down the line.
But if you consider tools such as C-clamps and hose clamps (you can even throw duct tape into the mix) which are pretty inexpensive, these gadgets can work just as effective as costlier alternatives (like replacing the whole pipe altogether).
Use Duct tape
If what your pipe has is a pinhole leak, you’ll first need to apply pressure to the fissure. Then, wrap duct tape thoroughly around the pipeline where the hole is. In some cases, this won’t work because the pressure is too strong. But, using duct tape works fine for minor burst water pipe scenarios.
Use a C-clamp
For this tip, you’ll need a flat wood block, a piece of rubber and a C-clamp. Note: this method will work only if the crack is narrow and flat.
You can find these items for less than a quarter at most junkyards. If you know any mechanics, ask them to dig up these materials from their shop.
- Make sure your water valve is turned off
- Put a small slab of rubber over the hole on the pipe
- Put the wood block right over the rubber
- Open the C-clamp and seal the rubber and wood until the C-clamp is nice and tight.
A sleeve clamp is your best friend for all burst water pipe complications. The circular design of the clamp will naturally stop any hole from leaking.
- Place your small rubber sheet on the crack of the pipe
- Enclose the pipe with the two-piece clamp
- Tighten your screws. You’re done!
4.Inspect any possible damages
After you’ve taken these precautionary measures, you’ll want to take note of how much water damage you have. If there wasn’t that much damage, there are a few DIY tricks you can do. But, if there has been extensive damage to your floors, drywall, and ceilings, chances are you might have to call a professional. Bacteria causes mould, which is hazardous to your health and can begin to grow within hours of a burst water pipe disaster.
Most burst water pipe cases lead to drywall damages. If it looks as if your dry walls are moist, dry it with a fan. You’ll want to stop it from swelling. If you’ve gotten to your drywall too late, then you’ll need to replace it. The chalky substance of the drywall can soak up water fast and lead to moulding.
To make sure that you don’t grow mould, just replace the wall, or else you’ll risk spores growing on the wall (and behind the painted exterior).
5. Suck the water out
Use a dry vac to suck up the water from the area. This will be helpful for carpets, tiles or wood floors. Continue doing this until there’s no more water in the catch basin. A full basin will be a strong indication that you’ve sucked up most of the water.
Note: this will take a long time to finish. So keep at it and be patient. You’ll save money in the long run.
Know that wood floors require more attention than carpeted surfaces (at least in the beginning).Wood turns spongy upon water contact and can quickly absorb water, leaving the wood misshaped and delaminated.
Get fresh air flowing
After you’ve shut off the supply to your power, your next step will be to get as much fresh air flowing into the area. Open all windows and bring in as many fans as you can to allow fresh air to flow throughout the area. This will help to not only dry the affected areas but will also eliminate smells down the line.
Get a dehumidifier
Along with every other drying method listed here, adding a dehumidifier into the mix will help speed up your cleaning efforts. Just make sure that you’re periodically checking in on the water deposit tank. Make sure to empty it periodically.
6. Take photos
This following step is critical and will save you headaches down the line. Snap some photos of the damaged areas as proof.
Like any property accident, putting on record your damages and the causes that led to the damages will set you up for success when claiming entitlement to any insurance payouts.
A burst water pipe can cause all kinds of problems for a property owner, at the time of the accident as well as in the long run. The tips listed here will help you control burst water pipe damages and will help you keep costs at bay.