A burst pipe can wreak havoc on a house. Here are three things you should do if a pipe bursts open in your home.
Put on a pair of waterproof boots
If you own a pair of waterproof boots, you should put them on as soon as you discover the burst pipe. This is important, as the pipe that has broken could potentially contain wastewater.
If this wastewater comes into contact with your skin and you happen to have a scrape or a cut on your foot, the pathogens in the water could enter the wound and make you extremely ill. The bacteria that are typically found in wastewater can cause diseases such as gastroenteritis, leptospirosis and rotavirus.
Putting on waterproof footwear should help to minimise your risk of contracting these serious illnesses. If you don't own a pair of waterproof boots, consider wrapping some rubbish bags around your shoes and securing them into place with tape.
Minimise water damage
As soon as you have put on some protective footwear, you will need to take steps to minimise the amount of water damage the burst pipe does to your home.
There are a couple of ways to do this. Firstly, make your way to your house's main water supply switch and turn it off. This switch may be located on one of your home's exterior walls, in its utility room or in the basement.
It is important to do this as quickly as possible. As long as the supply is switched on, water will continue to emerge from the burst pipe and inflict damage on your property.
Secondly, gather up as many towels, old bedsheets and other absorbent fabrics as you can and lay these on the floor around the broken pipe. This will soak up a lot of the water and thus reduce the amount that is absorbed into the carpeting or the walls.
Call an emergency plumber as soon as possible
It is crucial to call a local emergency plumber at companies like P1 Plumbing & Electrical and arrange for them to repair the broken pipe immediately.
Whilst the services of an emergency plumber are likely to cost more than those of a standard plumber, it is important not to postpone this repair work, as even a small, continuous drip emerging from the broken pipe could do serious harm to your home if you wait several days for a standard plumber to call around.
The dripping pipe could, for example, damage your home's timber framework (as the moisture could cause the timber to develop an erosive fungus known as wet rot) and lead to damp developing in the house's foundation.