Burst water pipe! What can I do?

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Is there anything worse than a leaky or burst water pipe? Truly one of the more heinous things to occur within the home, a burst pipe is akin to the hot water system breaking, or the air-conditioner finally giving up the ghost. But what do you do when a pipe bursts? Depending on the severity of your leakage, as well as the contents of the pipe, you are going to want to act quickly. In order to avoid significant further damage to other areas of your home, the first thing you should do is ‘switch off and turn off’. This involves both the power as well as the water, and if you are concerned about what exactly is leaking, the gas should be switched off as well.

A burst pipe, leaky pipe, or damaged home is definitely not something you want to happen too often, but as most homeowners will attest, it is probably going to occur at some point. Make sure you are prepared by taking a peek at homify’s guide to dealing with a burst pipe below! From switching off risky items, assessing damage, to contacting your insurer, we are here to help. Read on to learn more, and get yourself prepared for every possibly domestic calamity.

Switch off the power!

If a pipe has burst in your home, it's unlikely you will be anywhere near as happy as the woman in the image above; however, to get you smiling again, you are going to want to follow the next few steps that will help rectify your problem. The first thing you are going to want to do, no matter where the leak is, or the material leaking, is switch off your power

Some homes will have a water leak detector, and others may not. If you don't have a detector, you may not realise that you have a burst pipe until your home is inundated. In this instance, you need to first turn off the water, and then switch off the electricity. Water and electricity can cause electric shocks and for this reason, you should disconnect the mains power, paying attention to switch off your water heater if it isn't connected to your electricity grid or system. 

Once the water and electricity have been turned off it will be safer to inspect where leak has come from. 

Locate the leak and assess the damage

Next up, you are going to want to determine where the leak has originated from. This may be obvious or not so obvious depending on your home and the leak/burst pipe itself. If you reside in a large home such as the one in the example, you are probably going to have to call in the professionals unless you are competent in home maintenance. 

The leak may be direct, such as a clear broken pipe, or may be situated in a space that is not easily reachable, such as basement, ceiling, or wall space. If you see evidence of a leak in any of these spaces, you will probably have to enlist plumbers to get the leak identified. Evidence of a leak might include bubbling of the paint in the wall, or a ceiling that has caved in. 

Once you've located the leak it is important to assess the damage it has caused. Look at every element and area of your home, and write a list of each section of your dwelling that has sustained damage. 

Take photos

Now you have your handy list documenting the different areas of your home that have suffered damage due to the burst water pipe, you will want to take some photos of the damage. Photos are extremely important for the next step below, which involves contact the relevant insurance company to fund the repairs. Additionally, it is a great idea to take photos to show any professional you engage to rectify the issue as it will assist them in conducting repairs. 

Leaks and burst pipes are most common in bathrooms and kitchens, but can occur anywhere in the home, causing far reaching damage. Look at each individual interior space to check for issues and damage. 

Contact your insurer

Contacting your insurer as soon as possible is the best way to guarantee your claim runs smoothly and swiftly. Insurance companies often have a list of approved repairers that they will want you to use. If they allow you to pick your own repairer, you can find countless professionals via the homify website that will provide an easy solution to your domestic pipe issues. 

When contacting your insurer, make sure you have a list with the following:

- The date and time you noticed damage to your home, or when the pipe burst

- The level of damage to your dwelling

- How it impacted your daily activities

- If it was an emergency, the repairperson you called, and their invoice price

- Quotes to repair the damage (optional)

Repair the damage

Once you've undertaken the above steps, it is time to repair the damage to your home, and have that burst pipe fixed. Contact a professional, or liaise with your insurer to have one provided for you, and get your home back in shape. 

Keep track of the invoices you may receive, in order to claim compensation from your insurer. Additionally, if you are uninsured, it is a good idea to keep invoices as a guarantee of works completed, as well as any warranties that may apply to the repairs. 

Preventative measures

Last, but certainly not least, you will want to take preventative measures to ensure your home remains clean, and doesn't suffer any annoying side effects from the burst pipe or leak. 

Keep in mind the following:

- Water leaks and burst pipes often reoccur in other areas of the home. Keep your plumbing up-to-date and well-maintained by a professional. 

- If you have damage to your paint, tiling, wallpaper or other wall covering, it is often a good idea to re-cover the wall, to prevent covering a problematic area that may cause further problems. 

- Mould is one of the common issues that arises from a burst pipe. Keep your home mould free by reading another of our Ideabooks with some helpful hints: Handy tips to waterproof your bathroom

Have you experiences a burst water pipe at home? If you have any additional tips for our readers, leave a comment below!

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