A burst pipe is one of every homeowner’s worst nightmares. Water pipes are particularly vulnerable during the winter months. This is attributed to the fact that, when water freezes, it tends to expand, and it does so with remarkable force – up to 40 pounds per square inch!
The first thing you need to do when dealing with a burst is to contact a professional plumber. As you wait for your plumber to get there, there are some things you can do to minimize water damage and prevent leaks in the future.
Shut off your water supply
Ensure that your water main is completely turned off. And in case you suspect that the water leak from the burst pipe may have come into contact with an electrical socket or the fuse box, it is essential that you take precautions and switch off the electricity as well.
You will need to physically search for your home’s main water shut-off valve. If it is inside the house, it will be typically located in your basement, areas near the water heater, or crawl spaces. If it is outside the house, it will typically be located on the side of the house facing the street under a metal lid, just within your property.
Drain the faucets – start with the cold taps.
After you’ve switched off your water supply, next you need to drain the remaining cold water from the system by turning on the faucets – this also includes flushing the toilet(s) several times. This is essential as it will help to minimize the risk of the remaining water freezing in the pipes. It also helps to reduce some of the pent-up pressure inside the pipe.
Switch off the heater and drain your hot taps
Next, you need to shut off the water boiler and heating system and drain the remaining water in your hot taps.
Let in the warm air
If cold weather was the cause of your burst pipe, you should let some warm air in. Once you’ve drained the remaining water from your taps, turn the heat back on and raising your thermostat. Alternatively, you can run a hairdryer over the pipe. The least you can do is open up the cabinet doors where your pipes lie and let the warm air flow through.
Clean up the mess
In case you manage to identify where the source of the leak, begin mopping up the excess water to avoid the growth of mold and mildew. There are some important things you need to do before everything is restored back to normal:
After containing the situation, you need to start photos of the scene. The point here is to document as much evidence as possible to prove your claim to the insurance company. Take photos of any damage to your home and possessions. It is important that you do not throw anything away yet.
Take preventative measures
After experiencing the turmoil of a burst pipe, you definitely want to prevent something like that from happening again in the future. Fortunately, there is something you can do to protect your home; winterizing your home. This involves things like adding insulation to prevent the temperature within your rooms and pipes from dropping below the freezing point during winter. You can also consider applying pipe sleeves and heat tapes to vulnerable pipes such as those in the bathroom or those under the kitchen skin. Fun Fact: newspapers are also viable.
Pinhole leaks tend to let in cold air and they are some of the biggest causes of frozen pipes. Identifying and fixing these leaks while they are still small is the best way to prevent these issues. However, this can be extremely difficult for the average homeowner. Flo by Moen has made it much easier to find and fix tiny micro-leaks in their early stages.
Again, let your pipes breathe. The simplest thing you can do for your pipes is to open the cabinet doors where they lie to allow warm air from the rest of your house to circulate. Don’t forget to maintain the thermostat setting at above 32 degrees even if there is no one in the house.
Contact An Emergency Plumber In Milwaukee When You Need Help
Hopefully, this article has proven to be of much value to you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you ever need professional plumbing help dealing with a burst pipe. Our team available 24/7, regardless of where you are in the Greater Milwaukee region.