What to do When Your Pipes Break

With crazy weather plaguing the U.S., there have been frequent reports of frozen pipes bursting in regions affected by the heavy assault of cold weather. For those living in Southern California, a burst pipe may sound like a crazy, dynamic experience where a sudden explosion causes everyone in the house to evacuate before their house turns into a geyser. Typically, this not what a burst pipe looks like. In reality, a frozen pipe creates cracks and fissures in the pipe. Even a crack as small as 1/8th of an inch can cause over 250 gallons of water to leak out in one day. Here’s the part many people living in warm climates don’t pay attention to—pipes can crack, rupture, fissure, or burst for a number of reasons, including earthquakes.

Regardless of where you may live, no one is safe from the potential woes that stem from plumbing problems. This is why it’s good to know the basic steps in addressing a burst pipe.

Common sense prevails. Thus, the first thing you should do in the event of a damaged pipe is shut off your water. Also be sure to close the valve leading to your hot water heater is closed if the pipe funnels hot water.

The next step is to call a reliable plumber. You may be pretty handy yourself, but this is not the time to prove how resourceful you can be. Water damage is one of the most common and expensive forms of damage reported by homeowners. Leave the important stuff to the professionals.

The third step is to call your insurance company. Be sure that you have well-documented evidence of the extent of any damage caused to your home. No one likes dealing with the headache of reporting insurance claims, but the better prepared you are, the easier this step will be.

In the future, be sure to take steps to reduce water damage to your home. Also, be sure that you’re getting your house inspected by a plumber at least once a year. They’ll be able to tell you where potential hazards might exist and help save you money in the future.