Minimizing Water Damage in Your Home
A leak or overflow of water is usually an unexpected occurrence in any property. This may happen if the property is really old and the plumbing systems have seen better days or the plumbing has not been done correctly with good quality materials. It could also occur due to a lack of maintenance which means a tap may leak due to wear and tear.
If your property is really old and the plumbing systems cannot handle the daily pressures of carrying water around then it is safer to upgrade the plumbing system in that property by engaging a qualified plumber that would use good quality materials. Installing the right plumbing system in any property is not an area to cut corners as the cost will outweigh any expected saving you may think you will realise.
Imagine a leak or overflow of water that damages wood flooring or carpets in your property. This means you not only cope with the cost of fixing the broken pipes or taps but you will also need new flooring. Think of a scenario where there is an overflow in the toilet upstairs which you did not detect until water is seeping through the ceiling? This could lead to major damage to your property. As water is essential, a broken down plumbing system means the home or office can hardly function normally.
There are ways to protect yourself from costly damages to your property and unwanted insurance claims.
Shut off the water
While you are in a rush to do damage control, the first thing to do is to trace the source of the leak or overflow and turn it off. If you have a leaking tap in the kitchen sink or a leak in the toilet then find the shutoff valve around the area and turn it off. It is important to know where the water mains is located in the property in case of emergencies like this. A leak may be easier to manage but a burst pipe may be harder and if not taken care off can lead to major damage to the property.
Protect the Property
After turning off the source of the leak or overflow, try and limit the damage to the property. Place buckets in areas where there are leaks to collect water and also place old towels or blankets to minimize the spread of water in the property. If you have carpets in areas of the property that is experiencing the leak or overflow then it may be better to move them away if possible. Improve the ventilation in the area by opening windows or doors and letting in as much air as possible. With warmer weather, the drying up process may be quicker thereby limiting the amount of water damage to the property.
Switch off Electrical Appliances
Water and electrics do not mix well at all. If there is an overflow due to a burst pipe in your property after taking the actions above, switch off all electrical appliances within that area. In the kitchen, switch off the refrigerator, microwave, toaster and other electric appliances. It may be advisable to just switch off any major appliances in the property. Do not use TVs, Radios, Computers or any other electric appliance while standing on wet carpets, concrete or tile floors. This keeps everyone in the property safe and prevents incidences of electrocution.
Call a Qualified Plumber
Call a qualified emergency plumber immediately. An experienced plumber will assess the situation, asking the right questions and offering advice of what you need to do before they get to your property. Be calm. Do not panic. If you provide clearer information, then the plumber can give you the right advice. For instance, If you do not know where the water mains is located in your property, the plumber can ask you questions that will guide you to the area. It is important to get a clear expected arrival time of the plumber so that you are not waiting for hours while the situation might be getting worse.
Call your Insurance Company
Every property should have an insurance cover for water damage. Although there are a range of policies out there which may cover burst pips and leaks but may not cover drains. Important that you know what you are covered for. We advise that you call the insurance company after the plumber has arrived and evaluated the situation. That way, you can give the correct information to the insurance company while making the necessary claim. As these emergencies may happen when least expected, we highly recommend that you review your insurance policy with your insurance company so that you have a clear idea of what are covered for.
The measures highlighted above are for damage control. With updated plumbing systems, regular checks around your property and annual maintenance of your property, these situations can be largely avoided. Always have a plumber visiting at least once a year to check your drains, taps etc. On an individual level, do your spot checks and if there are any issues, try to urgently resolve them.