Burst Pipe? 8 Steps to Take Immediately
Falling only behind hurricanes as the most common cause of damage to the home, plumbing failures account for approximately 23% of all property loss. However, if you’re lucky enough to notice a burst pipe immediately, there are a number of steps that you can take immediately to reduce the cost of damaged property.
Especially in a high-rise condominium, where leaks and water damage can affect multiple tenants, it’s important to quickly locate the source of a broken pipe and quickly work to minimize damage.
So, to prepare yourself in case of emergency, it’s important to understand these all-important steps for if and when a pipe does burst, and to have the number on hand for a 24-hour emergency plumber in Toronto.
- Turn off water
You want to make sure that water stops running through the pipe that has burst. The longer water is left on, the more water can end up in the homes of your tenants.
Locating the stopcock or shut off valve is the first step to reduce the costly damage caused by water. For specific fixtures, these stop taps are usually located directly beside the pipe, such as underneath a toilet or sink. If you’re unsure where the water is coming from you’ll have to turn off the main water supply located at the water main in the basement.
2. Turn off electricity
If the water leaking is near any outlets or wiring, turning off the electricity at the source is important to prevent a fire from starting, or people from getting electrocuted.
If the leak is located anywhere near the main switch, you’re going to have to deal with a darkened home or building until the area is completely dry. Water and electricity don’t mix, and an electrician may have to be called once the problem is resolved to ensure that your wiring wasn’t damaged during the course of the leak.
- Call a plumber
Once you’ve secured the area from any further damage, you should get in touch with a 24-hour plumber in Toronto to come and fix the problem and help you resolve the issue immediately, and help dry out the area.
An emergency plumber can then inspect your pipes to make sure that the burst pipe was a one-off situation and that you won’t experience another tragedy in the near future.
- Drain your system
While you’re waiting for an emergency plumber to arrive, there are steps you can continue to employ to ensure that the problem is isolated and to reduce water damage around the home.
Once the taps have been turned off, you should continue to drain the system by opening taps or flushing the toilet. This helps to remove any standing water attached to the damaged pipe from seeping into the home.
- Collect the water
If you were unable to stop the leak completely, it’s important to collect any leaking water with buckets or pans so so that you’re not further damaging the home.
Water damage can cost anywhere from $5,000 or up in losses. These costs can be the result of a buildup of mold or mildew, floor or ceiling replacement, due to warped cabinets or doors, or ruined personal possessions. In just one horror story, a burst pipe in a single-family home where they were not home to catch it cost $50,000 in damage.
Aviva Canada paid out $180 million dollars for water damage in 2014 alone, and water damage accounts for 50% of home insurance claims nationally.
- Call your insurer
Of course, before something as potentially catastrophic as a burst pipe occurs, it’s important to know what your insurance covers and if there are any limitations on the coverage.
Once something has happened, however, you should immediately get in touch with your insurance provider to get an understanding of what’s covered, and the information that they will need from you.
- Record the damage
Whether or not your insurance provider explicitly requests evidence of the claim, it’s important to cover your back. By photographing the damage and recording where, when, and how the incident occurred, you’ll have a leg to stand on when filing your claim.
- Air out your home
The carpets, walls, and personal items will need to be properly dried in order to prevent the accumulation of mold or mildew. An experienced 24-hour emergency plumber in Toronto can assist with this process, but it’s recommended to open windows and doors, to use air purifiers, and not to overheat the area.
Property managers, take note, once the problem is resolved it’s your responsibility to ensure that the proper measures have been taken to reduce the formation of mold, mildew, or any electrical problems. Water damage can be a huge inconvenience, but making sure that it’s cleaned up properly guarantees that your condominium is a safe place to live.
If you’re planning ahead, having the number of a reliable 24-hour plumber in Toronto on hand is just one way to ensure that you’re prepared in the case of a burst pipe.
At Canadian Pipe Lining Technologies, our responsive technicians will arrive on the scene and put your fears at ease by quickly locating the problem and taking all steps necessary to prevent further damage. We can also ensure that the area is properly aired out, cleaned out, and ready for renovations (if necessary.)
Keep our number in your in-case-of-emergency folder to guarantee that you know who to call.