WHAT TO DO ABOUT BURST PIPES
Shut off the water
If you have a burst pipe, the first thing you need to do is turn off the water at the mains by shutting off the main stopcock. This will stop the flow of water into the house and prevent any more coming into the pipes. If the flow of water continues, drain the cold water in the system by flushing the toilet several times and running all the cold taps until the flow dries up.
Contact your insurer
If your home is damaged by water or has become unsafe or your contents are at risk of further damage, contact us as soon as possible. Home Insurance from John Lewis Finance offers round-the-clock support for domestic emergencies like burst pipes. If you have Home Emergency included in your policy
Contact a plumbing professional
Once you’ve stopped the flow of water, contact a reputable professional plumber (or get one through your insurer) to assess the damage and make immediate repairs. If water has reached power sockets, call out a certified electrician. Don’t use any appliances which have come into contact with the water.
Document the damage
Check exactly what you need to do to make a claim. This could include photographing damage and keeping receipts for replacement items. We will either give you the nod to start making repairs, for which you should keep receipts, or we’ll arrange for a loss adjuster to come and examine the damage in person.
Putting things right
Getting your home back to normal after damage from a burst pipe can take time.
Cleaning and drying out: some cleaning is likely to be needed and the affected areas could take between 4-8 weeks to dry out or maybe more in difficult cases. To speed up the drying process, give walls, floors and furniture enough space for air to circulate.
Stripping out: furniture and fixtures which have been damaged will need to be stripped out and damaged plaster removed.
Repairs: it may be some time before your house has dried out enough for you to start cosmetic repairs. Walls need to dry fully before they can be replastered and redecorated.
Don’t forget: you should avoid throwing damaged items away immediately, as they’re used to help validate the insurance claim.
BEST BURST PIPE INSURANCE CLAIM TIPS FOR WATER DAMAGE CLAIMS
Dealing with a burst pipe insurance claim can be frustrating. A burst pipe can quickly cause thousands of dollars in water damage. Making matters worse, some insurance companies will refuse to cover certain burst pipe damages.
Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about burst pipe insurance claims, including how to handle claims, how to maximize your insurance payout, and how to proceed with the claim process.
SIGNS A PIPE HAS BURST IN YOUR HOME
A burst pipe isn’t always as dramatic as it sounds. In some cases, a burst pipe may start with a small leak. This leak from a broken pipe can go unnoticed for days or months, silently filling your home with moisture and mold. The sooner you spot a burst pipe, the sooner you can limit damages from water.
Listen: Do you hear a bubbling, whistling, banging, or clanking sound when turning on the water in your home? Do your pipes make a funny noise when flushing the toilet or turning on the sink? If so, then it could be the sign of a broken pipe.
Strange Odors: A burst pipe can often cause strange odors in your home. Do a sniff test when using your pipes. Is there a strange odor coming from your sink or toilet when you flush it? Does your washing machine have an odd smell when it fills with water? All of these could be signs of a burst pipe.
Look for Water Damage and Discoloration: Water damage can be found on our ceilings and walls. It might appear as a small discoloration mark at first before turning into a bigger, more noticeable mess.
Bulging: Your walls and ceilings could start to bulge after being affected by water damage. Watch for unusual bulges in your walls, as they could be the first signs of a serious burst pipe problem.
Higher Water Bill: One of the most obvious signs of a serious burst pipe problem is a higher-than-usual water bill. If your water bill has suddenly skyrocketed, then it could mean you have a burst pipe.
Low Water Pressure: A burst pipe can lower the water pressure throughout the rest of your house. If you suddenly notice a lower water pressure when showering, bathing, or using other plumbing, then it could indicate that a pipe has burst or is broken.
HOW TO HANDLE A BURST PIPE INSURANCE CLAIM
Discovering a burst pipe in your home can be a scary experience. Sometimes, it’s a long, slow leak that has caused significant damage over time. In other cases, a burst pipe is an emergency situation that requires immediate action.
THINGS EVERYBODY SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PLUMBING AND THEIR PLUMBER
When you own a home, you have to take on a lot of different responsibilities. Many of those responsibilities require a good amount of knowledge and experience, which is why it’s important to get professional help. When it comes to your plumbing system, you can help avoid expensive calls to your plumber by understanding how things work and what you can do to keep everything running smoothly. If you don’t know the first thing about the plumbing system in your home, here are some of the plumbing basics every homeowner should know.
Shut Off Valve
If there’s one thing every homeowner should know about their home, it’s where the main water shut off valve is. When there’s an emergency that could cause serious water damage if left unchecked, this shut off valve stops the flow of water and keeps things somewhat dry. If you don’t know where your shut off valve is, you should locate it now or have a professional help you find it.
In most homes, the shut off valve is located in the basement If you don’t have a basement, your shut off valve may be located underneath the kitchen sink. Regardless of where the valve is, it’s important to know that information so you can create a plan of action in case of a plumbing emergency.
Depending on the plumbers who plumbed your home initially, there may be shut off valves for individual fixtures and appliances in your home. While this isn’t required, it’s a nice luxury to have when you don’t want to shut water off to your entire home. If you want to be completely prepared for an emergency, you should check to see whether or not you have any individual shut off valves as well.
One of the most important things to understand if you want to avoid costly calls to a plumber is how to take good care of your drains. While this might seem fairly straightforward, chances are you’ve been doing some things completely wrong.
Household Tips to Avoid Expensive Plumbing Repairs
No one intends on having a plumbing disaster, but there are several things you can do to avoid disaster. You can’t foresee or avoid all plumbing repairs, but some regular maintenance can save you hundreds—maybe thousands—on some of them.
Below are a few helpful household tips to avoid expensive plumbing repairs.
Toilets – DO NOT flush ANYTHING other than toilet paper down your toilet. Those “flushable” wipes are NOT flushable and will eventually cause a block in your plumbing.
Tubs – You would be shocked how much hair you actually lose down your bathtub drains! To avoid having to call a plumber we suggest adding a small wire mesh basket to catch hair before it clogs the drain.
Kitchen Sink/Garbage Disposal – The Kitchen is the second most common area for clogged drains because of all the items that get poured down them. We highly recommend disposing of your food by scraping your plates into the garbage or keeping a waste bucket to use for a compost pile for your garden to prevent future blockage.
Washing Machine – To keep your discharge drain from getting clogged we suggest putting a screen attachment on the end of the drain hose. This will help block dirt, hair, lint and other build up.
Broken pipes – To prevent broken pipes, don’t let your pipes freeze during the winter. One of the most common causes of broken pipes is frozen pipes. You can prevent frozen pipes by wrapping your pipes in heat tape and making sure they’re properly insulated. You can also let a small trickle of water run continuously when the weather is very cold to help prevent them from freezing.
If you want to avoid plumbing disasters, one of the best things you can do is to call a professional plumber to inspect your plumbing and for advice
Steps to Deal with a Burst Pipe and a Flooded House
If you are reading this, you likely are looking at a big puddle of water in your home. While some residential flooding is caused by leaking water heaters, clogged sewer lines, or heavy rainfall, the most common cause is a broken water pipe. Freezing temperatures or other malfunctions can cause cracks to form in water pipes, connections, or valves, and within minutes, you may have water pouring down your walls and ceilings or pooling in your basement.
Disconnect your electrical
To prevent electrocution, make sure the electrical systems in your home are turned off. Do not wade into standing water with the power on. If water is blocking your path to your breaker box, look for a main shutoff on the exterior of your home or call an electrician.
Stop the source of the flooding
If your flooding is caused by a burst pipe or valve rather than an act of nature, it should be fairly easy to stop at its source. Just turn off the main water shutoff valve. Some homes have a valve located near where the main water line enters your home, while other homes have a valve attached or adjacent to a water meter, which is sometimes buried near the street.
Salvage anything you can from the flood zone
Water damage occurs almost instantly, but you still may be able to remove some items from the floor. For instance, if you keep any boxes or papers on your basement floor (never a good idea, but too late now!), try to remove any items toward the top that may not be soaked through yet.
Call your insurance company
Your water damage will most likely be covered under your homeowners insurance policy. The first step to start the claims process is to call your insurer to let them know about the situation. To make sure that your claim is successful, ask your insurer whether a claims adjuster needs to visit your home to document the damage before you begin the cleanup and repair process, or if your photos of the damage will suffice.