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What to do immediately after a pipe bursts?

So a pipe burst in your home and now you're trying to figure out what do to! How do you stop the leaking water? How will you clean it up after? Who can you call for help with a burst pipe? Is it safe to deal with it yourself? It's likely that all of these questions are running through your head. The most important thing you can do in this situation is to stay calm! Knowing what you're dealing with, which steps to take and who to call when a pipe bursts can make all the difference!

What Causes a Burst Pipe

The most common reason for a burst pipe is freezing. As water freezes, it expands - cracking or dislodging the pipe from its housing. Then, when the ice thaws, the water flowing through the pipe starts to leak. In this situation, water will often spray or gush out - filling your basement, kitchen or other area of your home with a lot of water very quickly. Other things like construction accidents, old age of the pipes or general disrepair can also cause burst pipes, but they are less common. No matter the reason, stopping the water flow from a burst pipe right away is an important step in ensuring that water damage from pipes is minimized as much as possible.

What Do you do When a Pipe Bursts - Step by Step

If you have a pipe burst, follow these steps immediately:

  1. Catch leaking water with a bucket or other container (if possible).
  2. Turn off the nearest water shut-off to stop additional water from leaking in.
  3. Turn off water at the main water supply if that does not stop the leaking water or if you discover water is leaking from anywhere else as well.
  4. Turn off the hot water heater valve to avoid getting a serious burn if the water coming out is hot.
  5. Give an emergency plumber a call right away to get the pipe fixed.
  6. Place towels on the floor to keep water from spreading while you wait for assistance.
  7. Dry off belongings as best as possible to avoid mold growth.
  8. Document home damage for your insurance purposes if you have homeowners insurance and will be filing a claim.

 Following all of these steps will put you in the best position to avoid additional issues in the future.

Emergency Plumbers

An emergency plumber will come out right away to fix a burst pipe and dry out flood water in your home so that you can avoid even more costly issues down the road. You may think that your pipe issues can wait until normal business hours to call in a general plumber at a lower rate, but this is the biggest mistake you can make. Leaking pipes can cause major home damage, create structural issues and result in home mold and fungal growth down the road if they are not repaired and cleaned up immediately. This is why it's so important to get your burst pipe taken care of immediately. So when you're wondering, "What's the first thing to do when your basement is flooded with water?" Your first call should be to a reputable emergency plumber that can fix the damage right the first time and save you money in the long run!

If you have a burst pipe, call USA Plumbing & Sewer today for help: 1 (800) 674-9130. Our experienced emergency plumbers come out to your home and make it right 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

Additional resources:

What kind of damage can result from a leaking pipe?
How to fix home water damage
When to call an emergency plumber
Why is my yard wet?
Cleaning up after a pipe breaks
Signs of a broken sewer line
Why is my water bill so high?
Do frozen pipes always burst?
How to handle a pipe breaking in the winter