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Cleaning Up After a Water Pipe Bursts

8 Important Steps to Take After a Water Pipe Breaks

During the cold Wisconsin winters, your water pipelines are at an increased risk for freezing and bursting. In fact, frozen pipes present one of the greatest risks to property damage when temperatures decrease. Preventing this type of accident is ideal, but when prevention measures fail and your home suffers water damage because of a pipe burst, what can you do? Here are eight steps to take after a water pipe ruptures and damages your home.

  1. Shut Off Your Water. Find the main water valve in your home and shut it off immediately. The valve is generally located beneath the kitchen sink. If you have trouble finding the valve, check near the water heater, in the basement along the front foundation wall, or inside a crawl space. Rotate the valve clockwise to turn it off.
  2. Turn off the power. If your home is flooded, locate your circuit breaker and turn off the electricity. Do not walk into areas with deep water or you could be electrocuted.
  3. Locate the source of the damage. Sometimes water gushes out after a pipe bursts, but at other times the leaking is more subtle, making finding the damaged pipe more difficult. Look for damp spots on the ceilings, walls, and floors if the location of the burst pipe isn’t immediately obvious.
  4. Document the damage. Before you work to remove the water or repair any damage, take photos and/or videos that capture the full impacts of the water damage (including the extent of the flooding and how it impacted your possessions) to ensure you do not decrease your available insurance coverage. Contact your insurance company to find out what they will cover and follow their instructions.
  5. Move your unaffected valuables. Unplug and move electrical items as soon as possible. Also move furniture and other items out of harm’s way. Use towels to keep water from seeping into unaffected areas.
  6. Call a Plumber. Since water can damage a home very quickly, call in a professional to help repair the pipe as soon as possible.
  7. Remove the water. Standing water can negatively impact your home in many ways. It can ruin wallboards and carpets, cause wood to rot or swell, and cause electrical parts to short. Additionally, it will get everything dirty and promote the growth of mold, creating a health hazard. Therefore, removing the water and beginning the drying process is vital. In order to make the removal process as quick and efficient as possible, call the professionals at K-tech Kleening.
  8. Sort through damaged items. Remove valuable items from the water and put them in a safe place. Be careful with wood furniture since it will warp if it dries in the sun. Before you throw out water-damaged items, note that K-tech Kleening Systems may be able to save many of your valuables, including electronics, clothing, furniture, and important documents, through the in-house Contents Restoration line. If you do decide to dispose of items, make sure you first photograph them for insurance purposes.