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The cold season of winter is a particularly dangerous one. One of the ways it can affect you is by freezing the water in the pipes in your home.
Once water starts freezing it becomes solid and no more water can pass through a particular point. The pressure in the pipes builds up and pretty soon, it is too much for the pipes to bear and they burst.
A frozen pipe bursting in your house can cause serious damage. You will have so much to do after it happens.
The following are several basic things you should do when a frozen pipe bursts in your home:
Shut off Your Water and Electricity
You will probably first notice water leaking in a room in your house and not the leak itself. When you see the water and can’t see its source, you should immediately shut off your water.
Your main water supply valve is often next to the water heater or in the basement. Once you shut off the main valve, you should drain every faucet in your house individually to ensure no frozen water remains in the pipes. The leak should stop once there is no more water running in your house.
You may also have to turn off the electricity depending on the location and size of the leak. When water combines with live electricity, the danger level rises exponentially.
Start Removing the Water
If the leak has produced a lot of water before you could shut off the main valve, you should start removing the water. It will prevent it from flowing to hard to reach places or to electrical fixtures.
Therefore, you should grab a bucket and start throwing the water out. You will need a mop or duster to ensure that the water is completely eradicated.
Removing the water that has leaked into your property will be a difficult task that will take a substantial amount of time. It would be better if you had a plan to handle such an emergency which will make handling the situation much better than you otherwise would.
Increase the Heat
After you remove the water that the leak from the burst frozen pipe produced, your house may still be wet or damp. An action that can help dry your house is to increase the heat inside it.
If you have a thermostat that can increase the heat all over the house, that would be ideal. Otherwise, you may have to set up fans or heaters to blow hot air into cold rooms.
You should also heat the most vulnerable pipes in your house meaning those most likely to freeze with a hair dryer. If there is ice in those pipes, the water will start flowing again and further clean-up will be necessary.
Locate and Block the Leak
If at all possible, you should locate the source of the leak. You might have to turn on the water slightly to discover where it is.
The reason is that if you have to use water in your home, blocking the leak can help you do that until you can repair it. There will often be warning signs that allude as to the location of the leak such as bulging ceilings and drip sounds.
You can place a piece of rubber over the leak which will certainly plug it. You can also clamp the burst pipe to ensure the plug on the leak remains tight.
Contact a Water Damage Cleanup Company
You will need professional help to repair the damage unless you are a professional yourself. You will require a professional plumber as well as a water damage clean up crew if the leak caused extensive damage.
It is especially important that you contact a water damage cleanup company if the damage might lead to worse issues. An example of a water damage clean up company is Chicago’s ServiceMaster of Lake Shore. You need a service that is prompt and can perform adequate repairs.
A plumber will fix the repairs but will not do any clean up of the water damage. You need proper deep cleaning of your property as water leaks from bursting frozen pipes can have serious health repercussions.
Remove Any Vulnerable Items
Though you might have located the leak and have contracted professionals to help you repair and clean your home, you might still not know the full extent of the damage. Therefore, you should safeguard any valuable items that are vulnerable to water damage.
Electronics are particularly vulnerable to water damage so you should probably begin with them. Other valuable items might include clothes, shoes, exotic rugs and vital documents.
Of the items you do salvage, you should wipe them down or dry them to ensure they carry no water. You can then store them in a dry location where the leak has not affected.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
If there is significant damage caused by the water leak, then you may have to file an insurance claim. Therefore, you should start getting evidence for your claim as soon as possible.
You have a short window after the leak until microbes and mold start to grow extensively in your house. You need to contact your home insurance provider as soon as you notice the leak.
You should go over your homeowners’ insurance policy to understand exactly what it covers. Only when you are certain that it covers water damage should you file a claim.
Insulate the Pipes
Finally, if you don’t want to have leaks from bursting frozen water pipes in your home again, you should insulate your pipes. You will do this after repairs have been done and you have maybe received a check from your insurance policy.
Insulating the pipes can be done in a variety of ways. The point is that it will keep your pipes warm and prevent water from freezing inside them which will eventually lead to leaks.
In conclusion, a frozen water pipe bursting and leaking water all over the house or basement, will cause significant trouble. It is a cumbersome process that requires the utmost patience.
If you can follow the steps above, your home should be fine and protected from future leaks. Ask the professionals for more advice on what you can do to further safeguard your house.