Wintertime brings with it a certain number of hardships, including plumbing difficulties. When your pipes freeze, they can explode and flood your home, causing serious damage to your home's structure and your possessions. You need to know how to handle this particular emergency to limit your losses.
When the water freezes in your pipes, it expands and often cracks them open. You may not realize that your pipes have burst until the water melts. You will then have a flood of major proportions because four to eight gallons of water will be streaming every minute from each burst pipe. That much water can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage before you have time to even think about what to do.
The first thing you must do is turn off the main water valve in your home. You should know exactly where this valve is before you have an emergency in order to limit damage during these emergencies. After you shut off the water, turn off your electricity, at least to the area that is flooded so no one receives an electrical shock. Then you need to immediately call a plumber. To be safe, have the number of a 24-hour plumber posted where you can easily find it in times of emergency.
You also need to call another 24-hour service: a water damage restoration company like Servpro Of Washington County. Although you can sop up some of the water on your own, a major in-house flood requires an experienced clean-up crew to prevent further damage and to save as many of your possessions as possible. These companies can immediately begin to dry out your home. They are especially good at preventing the mold and mildew damage that can occur after water has gotten into your carpeting and walls, eliminating a potentially serious health threat to your family. These professionals can also locate and remove hidden pockets of moisture that may be lurking in your home, something you may not be equipped to do. Undetected moisture can cause serious structural damage that can lessen the resale value of your home.
When your pipes burst in the winter, you must take immediate action in order to minimize the damage to your home. You can take a few steps on your own, but the real plumbing and cleanup work needs to be done by professionals. In this instance, trying to "do-it-yourself" can backfire, costing you additional time and money.