What Makes Pipes Burst?Though freezing temperatures are the primary cause, the science of burst pipes is mainly concerned with ice and pressure. Because ice has a greater volume than water, when water inside a pipe freezes, it expands and causes pressure. The pressure builds up until the pipe splits or bursts. If the water thaws or any unfrozen water reaches the damaged location, it can only travel one way: out the pipe. Turning on faucets helps prevent bursting and flooding because it reduces pressure, so even if the water freezes, there will be no serious flood damage.
What Should I Do If a Pipe in My House Bursts?The first thing you should do if you see a frozen or burst pipe is to turn off the main water supply. This minimizes floods because no water will enter your home. The next step is to contact a professional restoration firm. If you are unsure where the problem occurred, they can locate it and perform any necessary repairs. Most restoration businesses have plumbers on hand who can be called promptly if necessary. It is critical to remember that you should not enter a flooded area until you are certain it is safe and there is no risk of electrocution. If flooding occurred as a result of your failure to recognize the problem in time, you will need to deal with a professional restoration firm for assistance with cleanup.
What Are the Advantages of Hiring Professionals to Repair a Burst Pipe?The most obvious reason to call in professionals when a pipe freezes or bursts in your home is so that the situation may be resolved as soon as possible. Your goal is to avoid harm as much as possible and to repair any damage that does occur as soon as feasible. Professional restoration firms can assist you with this. You can get help from restoration businesses with:
- Determining the exact location of the burst pipe and the extent of the damage to your property
- Using professional equipment to determine the water’s course through your property
- Identifying water-damaged surfaces in your home, such as ceilings, walls, flooring, fixtures, and mechanical issues
- Determining the best strategy for cleanup and restoration
Can I Repair a Burst Pipe Without Professional Assistance?After a pipe bursts in your home, you may be tempted to do your own cleanup and restoration, but this can be a costly error. Remember that simply drying out the space and replacing any damaged carpeting or furniture is not enough. Surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned, and an inspection must be performed to ensure that mold and other risks are not present. Professional water restoration businesses also have the skills and equipment to complete the job correctly the first time, which can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. To assist you with floods and water damage, restoration companies employ a range of tools, including:
- Air transporters
- The heating system
- Cameras for thermal imaging
- Meters for measuring humidity
- Systems for drying wood floors
- Dehumidifiers with desiccant
- Antimicrobial treatments
- Water extraction systems
- Drying in the wall cavities
- Simple preventative measures or quick 2 minute checks can help prevent larger issues
- Know the sources or appliances that tend to cause most issues
- Understand how those sources cause water damage
- Learn the simple tips you can do today to help prevent major damage (if you have doubts with what you are seeing – check with your plumber)
Top 10 issues we see:
1. Sink leaks and overflows – leaks below your sink can happen over time and are easy to check for. Check the water supply lines to your sink for wet areas around the line or corrosion around the valve. A simple way to test for any leakage under your sink is to lay a piece of paper towel down under the “p-trap” (curved pipe under your sink) and leave it for 24 hours.
2. Toilet supply lines and overflow – the water supply line for your toilet is that little pipe coming out of your wall usually to the bottom left of the toilet with a braided hose coming out. Check that there’s no wet areas around the hose and also that the turn on/off valve isn’t starting to become corroded. You can also check for any discoloration of the walls in that area.
3. Floor drains in basement (usually in utility rooms) – Check to see that the drain doesn’t have any debris on top of the grate. You should have your drain checked periodically to make sure its not backed up.
4. Washer machines – the water from your washer machine usually goes out through a drain hose to your utility sink. Check that the hose connection to the sink is tight and if you have a small mesh lint trap piece on the end of the hose take it off and check there isn’t buildup behind it.
5. Sump pump failure – sump pumps fail due to lack of power or excess water. Check that the power source for your sump pump is in a place where it isn’t easily disupted (think of a plug sticking out in an area people constantly walk by). You can also put a backup battery on your sump pump that will kick in if it ever loses power. Something to keep in mind is that sump pump failures are usually not included in your homeowners insurance policy so if you are not sure of your coverage we would recommend speaking with your insurance agent or company.
6. HVAC Condensate line – leaks in this line can be caused by back up in the hose line or cracks in the hose as they age. Check for any debris inside or cracks. If debris is found it should be blown out.
7. Dishwasher leaks from the water supply line – the supply line is the little hose that is underneath your dishwasher behind the panel (usually 2 screws to pop off). This hose can get corroded over time and start leaking or break (they are made to last 5 years). Check under your dishwasher for any dampness or discoloration in the flooring.
8. Pipe leaks inside walls – pin hole leaks in your pipes can be hard to detect and can cause major damage over time as the water builds up. Check for any discoloration of your walls or any signs of spots or mold starting. The longer the building materials of your home are wet the higher the chance of damaging the structural integrity of the home.
9. Refigerator water supply line – if you see a small puddle of water at the bottom of your refrigerator or freezer it doesn’t mean you have a problem yet. It could be a one of spill or ice coming out and melting, but if you continually see that water there it is most likely a leak in the supply line to your refrigerator. At this point you may want to contact your plumber, but for those who want to go deeper, you can pull your refrigerator out from the wall (make sure to unplug it) and check to see if the walls behind it are damp or have mold. If you discover a leak and want to try to replace the line yourself you can reference a helpful video below.
10. Cracks in foundation walls – Check for areas with cracks wider than a pencil line (these can be formed by hydrostatic pressure, or pressure from water in the soil surrounding your basement).
If you have any questions or would like advice on these topics and the issues they can cause feel free to contact us or call directly anytime!
For a more comprehensive tool on how to prevent water damage see below (we’ve also included an easy to download PDF if you want to print off and walk your home):
Water damage falls into 3 categories of losses: Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3.
The easiest way to think about it is by how contaminated the water is.
A Category 1 water loss is clean water that originates from a sanitary source and does not pose a significant risk of sickness. An example of this would be if the supply line to your dishwasher was leaking or broke. When these losses happen the good news is that most of your building materials in your home can be dried if addressed quickly and done right.
A Category 2 water loss is when the water is significantly contaminated and poses a risk of sickness or discomfort. An example of this would be an overflow from your washing machine or dishwasher, but unlike a Category 1 this water has detergents and or soils from clothes or dishes. When these losses happen the determination of what is salvageable depends on the type of material.
A Category 3 water loss is when the water is grossly contaminated and could pose significant risk to those with compromised immune systems (e.g. young children, elderly persons, persons with respiratory problems, those who have undergone recent surgery or chemotherapy, and those whose immune systems are suppressed). When these losses happen all materials that have been affected by the water should come out (e.g. carpeting & padding, tiles, vinyl flooring, baseboards, sheetrock and many others).
One of the biggest factors in all this is time. Time allows for water damage to get worse. Catch it early and dry it properly and you can really limit the damage done to your home. The goal is to quickly and safely dry your home with the least amount of damage as possible.
If you’re a homeowner, it’s important to know what types of water damage are covered by insurance. That way, if something happens to your home, you’ll know what to expect when you file a claim. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different types of water damage that are typically covered by insurance policies. Keep reading for more information!
WHAT TYPES OF WATER DAMAGE ARE COVERED?
Most standard home insurance policies cover sudden and internal water damage. This means the water damage must not have touched the outside ground.
What does this mean? It means the water damage must come from accidental tearing, cracking, burning, or bulging of steam, heating, AC, or fire protection systems.
Other instances of water damage covered by homeowners insurance include heavy rain, snowstorm, water from extinguishing a fire, and vandalism. With plumbing problems, insurance will cover burst pipes, overflowing toilets, and sinkholes that cause water damage to your home’s structure. But it won’t cover gradual leaks.
If you have flood insurance, it will cover water damage from heavy rain, snowmelt, flash flooding, and rising rivers or lakes. Flood insurance is a separate policy from homeowners insurance, so if you want it, you’ll need to purchase it through the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer.
WHAT TYPES OF WATER DAMAGE ARE NOT COVERED?
So although your insurance will cover the water damage from a washing machine overflowing, they won’t cover this damage if this was due to an unresolved maintenance issue. In other words, if the damage was caused by a continuous leaking faucet or other regular plumbing issues that you did not repair.
Also, insurance won’t cover the cause of the water damage, only the consequences. So, if your washing machine overflowed because you left it on while you went out of town, your insurance company will not reimburse you for the cost of the trip. They will only cover the damage caused by the water.
There are some other types of water damage that are also not covered. These include:
-Flooding: This is typically not covered by homeowners insurance unless you have a separate flood policy.
-Sewer backup: This is usually only covered if it is the result of a clog in the city sewer system and not your personal plumbing.
-Groundwater: This is water that enters your home from the ground up, typically through cracks in the foundation. It is not covered by homeowners insurance.
If you’re not sure whether or not your water damage is covered, it’s always best to contact your insurance company and ask. They will be able to tell you what is and is not covered under your policy.
WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU
Hiring a professional water removal company to tackle your wetness makes sense. Bedrock Restoration offer services that have helped thousands of residential and commercial customers recover from the damages – both big or small! :
Contact us today