What To Do When You Have Burst Pipes In Your Home

If you are in a temperate climate and temperatures drop in the winter to an all time low, you could experience the problem of burst pipes.  This is particularly likely if you are in an old house with pipes that are made of weak metal or plastic and are not insulated.  When the water in the pipes freezes, it will expand and this is what will burst the pipes. 

What do you do when this happens?

Shut off the water supply to your home from the main water valve.  Also cut off electricity to all the sections in your home where there are burst pipes.  If you are in an apartment or house where you do not have control of the water supply, talk to whoever is in charge and has such control. 

Assess the water damage in your home and call a plumber.  Have the contacts of a good plumber ready and contact them once you experience the burst pipes problem.  Different plumbers charge different rates so it is a good idea to research for one before you need them.  Be sure they have a 24-hour service as this could be crucial when water starts pouring into your house from burst pipes.

Check what other damage has occurred in your home.  If flooring, carpeting, ceilings or walls are severely damaged, you will need to call a water damage professional.

When you have burst pipes, water may start pouring into your house.  Start removing it immediately.  Use what you have and remove all the water from your home as much as is possible.  This helps prevent build-up of mould and mildew. You can use towels, mops, a wet/dry vacuum and buckets. 

Here are some ideas you can apply to prevent burst pipes in cold weather in your home.

  • If you suspect water has frozen in a pipe, thaw it carefully, perhaps using a hair dryer.  You should call a professional to help.
  • If you turn on your taps and water is not flowing, or the toilet is not filling, there is a good chance that there are frozen pipes which could burst.  Address the problem immediately because if the pipes burst it could result in additional costs including toilet repairs.
  • When the weather is very cold, let water drip as if you have leaking taps in your house.  This will prevent the water from freezing and consequently pipes won't burst.