Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Keep Your Family and Possessions Safe When a Pipe Bursts in Your Home

Picture it: You get home after a busy day at work to find your kitchen is now a kiddie-sized swimming pool. The mere thought of it probably sends shivers down your spine, however, burst pipes happen more often than you think. This kind of moisture can quickly breed mold which can be a health hazard. Here’s what you need to know about burst pipes and how to protect you, your family, and your belongings.

Elevate Your Furniture

Even if you can’t catch the burst right when it happens, there are things you can do to save your property. Elevate all of your electronics, including electrical cords, off the floor. Place them at counter height and tape up any electrical cords. Find ways to elevate your furniture as well. Bed risers and similar products can lift your furniture off the floor to prevent water damage.

Have Proper Insurance Coverage

Standard homeowners and renter’s insurance usually does cover water damage. It’s considered an add-on to your policy. Even if you don’t think you’ll need it, you should consider having it in place. While you may never need to use it, if a water pipe does burst, you’ll have that extra layer of monetary protection. Since levels of coverage do vary, discuss your options with your insurance broker.

Shut of Water Supply

Since a burst pipe produces hundreds of gallons of water, you must shut off the source. Find the main water supply and turn off the water supply. This allows you to start removing water from the affected areas in your home. If you aren’t sure where it’s located, check around the hot water heater or in the crawlspace. It may also be located outside, so you need to check outside as well.

Schedule Preventive Maintenance

You can’t predict when a pipe will burst, however with routine plumbing maintenance, you may be able to minimize the risk. Routine plumbing inspections can catch potential problems before they become major expenses. Enlist the help of a qualified plumber who can check all hose and pipes connection, add reinforcements if necessary, and replace piping if indicated.

You should also have your insulation inspected, especially in crawl spaces, to ensure that pipes are well insulated. Make sure that all exterior walls that house piping are well insulated, particularly in locations that are prone to freezing. Pipes often freeze in the winter, making them brittle and more liable to burst.

Waging war on a broken pipe is not for the timid. However, staying calm and using the tips mentioned above can preserve your belongings, your family, and you sanity until help arrives.

Tim Esterdahl

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