With winter on its way, and the temperatures starting to reach freezing range, your chances of enduring broken water pipes are increasing exponentially. Unfortunately, broken water pipes can ruin your day, your budget, and your belongings. Even with the best precautionary measures, pipes can burst during the winter. When they do, you need to act fast. If you've woken up to find out that your home is under water, here are four important steps you'll need to take right away.
Make Sure It's Safe to Walk Around
Standing water can pose a serious risk to you and your family members, especially if the power is still on. You never know if the water has been electrified by exposure to the electrical current in your home. Before you step into the water, check around your room. If it doesn't look like the water level has reached your wall outlets, and you don't have any power cords in the water, you should be okay to step on to the ground. However, if the water level has reached the outlets or you can see electrical cords in the water, don't step on to the floor. Instead, try to make it over to your bedroom window and exit through there. Once you're outside, quickly shut the breakers off to your home.
Call the Plumber
Once you've got the power off to your home, and you know it's safe to move around, you'll need to call your plumber – even if it's before business hours. Call their office and leave a detailed message about your flooding problem. This will ensure that you're first in line when the messages are checked at opening. You don't want to wait any longer than you have to for your repairs.
Stop the Flow of Water
Now that you've got the power turned off and the plumber has been notified, turn your attention to the water. If you can still hear water running in your home, you should get that turned off as soon as you can. Letting the water run will only add to the flood and raise your water bill even higher. See if you can locate the source of the flood. If it's a pipe inside your home, you should be able to turn the water off right there. That way, you'll still have running water in other areas of your home. However, if you can't locate the source of the water or the rupture is located in a main pipe, you'll need to turn the water off to the entire house.
Take Care With the Basement
If you've got a basement and it's under water, don't try draining the water by yourself. Removing the water from your basement too quickly could actually cause it to collapse. Not only that, but if you don't remove it all the way, you could end up with hidden moisture, which could lead to mold growth. Leave the basement cleanup to the professionals.