We rely on pipes in our homes every day, so when something goes wrong, it can be very disruptive. If a pipe does burst, it can cause a lot of mess in your home, even from a small sink pipe. First clean up the water, then dry out your home, then have the water pipe repaired. It’s best to start the repairs as soon as possible. Here’s what happens and how you can deal with the damage.
Causes of Pipes Breaking
While broken pipes could be caused by many factors from age to earthquakes, here in Minnesota, our cold weather can make broken water pipes a real problem. Whenever the temperature drops below zero, there is an increased risk of freezing or breaking for pipes located in non-insulated parts of the home, like crawl spaces or exterior walls.
When the temperature drops, the water in the pipe may freeze. If that happens, its volume expands forcefully by about nine percent. The pressure inside the pipe goes way up, which can cause a break either where the ice is or at a weak spot within feet of the ice.
For a Small Leak
If you’re dealing with only a small amount of water, you may be able to handle the cleanup by yourself. Here’s what to do:
- Turn off the water supply to your home so more water isn’t added to the mess.
- Turn off the electric power in your home, especially if there is water near any appliances. Call the electric company if you need to, and don’t step into the water if it could be electrified.
- Remove carpets, furniture, and other belongings from the area.
- Clean up water on the floor using a mop or shop vac. This step can take some time.
- Bring in circulating air either by opening doors and windows (if it isn’t too cold) or using fans. Run a dehumidifier too if you have one.
- If you plan to submit an insurance claim, make sure you take photos of the damage.
Call the Professionals
If you have water in more than one room or even more than one floor of your house, or if the water has been there for more than eight hours, call in the professionals to handle the cleanup. A professional restoration company is able to handle cleaning and drying carpets, woodwork, subflooring, and drywall to make sure it is safe, dry, and mold free. The sooner a company can arrive to begin the process, the better, since mold can start to grow within hours.
Pipes Breaking Prevention
There are a few steps you can take to reduce the chance for your pipes to freeze and break. Keep an eye on your pipes when the weather is below freezing. Turn on a faucet just at a drip to reduce pressure in the pipes. Also, keep doors and cabinet doors open, turn up the heat, and run fans to circulate the warm air. Keep the garage door closed if you have one. If you have pipes that are a particular concern, you could invest in a leak detector alarm system that alerts you when it’s wet.
Satin Touch Homes Reinvented Is The Solution
Homes Reinvented is the restoration and remodeling division of Satin Touch, Inc. Our water damage specialists are trained in proper water removal and extraction techniques. We can safely remove water from walls, floors, and crawl spaces without adding to the damage already in your home. We use advanced dehumidification techniques and professional drying equipment to remove the water, prevent mold from growing, and return your home to normal quickly.
In addition, we are fully licensed and insured with liability and pollution insurance. Contact us at Satin Touch Homes Reinvented at any hour if you need water from a broken pipe cleaned up.