Plumbing problems can cause water damage in a heartbeat, so it’s important to know what to do when your house has a plumbing leak to avoid this kind of damage. Here’s a look at the steps to follow when you discover a leak in your home.
Though no one can predict when a plumbing emergency will strike, knowing the location of the water shut-off valves can save you a lot of stress in the moment. Take a few minutes to learn where you shut-off valves are and how to turn them off.
1. Turn Off the Power
If you can isolate the area where the damage happened, turn off the power for that section. If not, turn off the power to the whole house. If you will need to stand in the water to turn off the power, call a professional immediately. No DIY fix is worth your life.
2. Stop the Water
As with the power, if you can isolate where the water is coming from, turn off the water to the area. If not, you need to turn off the water supply for the whole house. If you can’t locate the source of the leak, call in a professional plumber to help.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
Take photos and document the damage before you start the cleanup. Your insurance company may not reimburse you for the total amount if you fail to document the damage. After the immediate danger has passed, call your insurance company to report the damage.
4. Get Rid of Standing Water
Remove any standing water as quickly as possible. Use a pump to drain the water from the area or a wet/dry vacuum if there is only a small spot. Nails, screws, and pieces of glass may hide in the water, so take the proper precautions when entering a flooded area.
5. Watch for Mold
Mold can start to develop 24 hours after water damage. Not only can it grow on furniture and other visible areas, but it also can grow in crawl spaces, vents, ducts, and other behind-the-scenes places. If you begin to smell an earthy smell or experience other signs of mold growth, call in a professional right away before the problem gets out of hand.