Frozen pipes can happen to anyone. As water freezes, it expands and makes plastic or weak metal pipes more susceptible to bursting. During these instances, the damage can become serious for your home, possessions, and health if the problem isn’t handled correctly.
A busted water pipe isn’t something you should solve on your own. An expert emergency plumber in Melbourne gives some advice on what you need to do.
1. Turn off the water and electricity
When you suspect that a pipe has been broken, the first thing you need to do is to turn off the water flow immediately. Go to your home water mains tap to shut it off. As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to know where the water mains tap is especially during emergencies.
To play it safe, you should also shut off electricity in the section of your home where water damage has occurred. If you reside in an apartment complex and don’t have any control over the water supply, be sure to contact your landlord or building manager.
2. Call a plumber
A plumbing problem requires professional help so it’s a good thing plumbing companies now offer 24-hour services to help you deal with such emergencies. It’s a good idea to research a plumber in advance so that you won’t be struggling after water has already flooded your home.
When looking for a good plumber, consider the following:
- Certification – A professional plumber must have certification and a license. This way, you can be sure that they’re knowledgeable and skilled enough to handle your plumbing problems.
- Experience – Each plumber has to start somewhere, and they earn knowledge through experience.
- Safety – A good plumber will always prioritize safety. Plumbing problems are successfully handled by plumbers who use safe industry practices.
- Coordination – Plumbers will often work in small spaces and may need to use different equipment. To do the job effectively, a plumber must have great coordination skills.
- Problem-solving skills – In any trade, especially plumbing, good problem-solving skills are essential. A plumber needs to be able to correctly assess the situation and evaluate options fast to determine the correct course of action.
Note that plumbing costs may vary depending on the location of the pipes and how bad the damage is. A professional plumber will drain all the excess water first, locate the burst pipe, and inspect the damage before giving you a price.
The best thing about not doing it yourself and hiring a professional is that you can be sure that the repair job will be done correctly and will not cause further problems down the line.
3. Begin removing water
Removing water as fast as you can is the key to preventing mold and mildew buildup. To do this, you’ll need plenty of mops, buckets, towels and a vacuum cleaner depending on the level of damage.
If water from the burst pipe is on the ceiling or walls as well as the floor, you may need the help of a cleaning service. Simply opening windows or using fans to dry a soaked area may not be enough as the resulting damage can become an invitation for mold and mildew to grow, and for serious diseases to infect your family.
Plumbing Problem Prevention Tips
With regular plumbing maintenance, you can avoid many pipe problems. To prevent cold temperatures from affecting your plumbing fixtures, here are some useful tips to keep in mind:
- Keep your home at a reasonable temperature to save yourself from the cost and headache of burst pipes.
- Allow both cold and hot water to run at a trickle. The constant water flow will help prevent your pipes from freezing. You can run hot water at a slow dribble while you can run cold water at a faster drip.
- Know where your exposed pipes are and insulate or heat them. Remember that the most common burst pipes are in crawl spaces, garages or uninsulated outside walls.
There’s no denying that owning a home is a huge expense especially when it comes to maintenance and repair, and problems you won’t be able to handle yourself.
Every time you encounter a broken, frozen, or burst pipe at home, leave the job to the professionals. You’ll be doing more harm than good if you choose to solve the problem on your own.