Indoor plumbing is one modern convenience homeowners don’t want to live without. Along with all the benefits that indoor plumbing brings, piping water into your home can also lead to a disaster if your plumbing system fails.
Homeowners understandably panic when they discover water leaking into their homes. Remember to keep a clear head and take immediate action if you stumble upon a plumbing emergency. By remaining level-headed and working to address the problem immediately, you can minimize the amount of damage any plumbing emergency causes.
Determine If It’s an Emergency
When one of your plumbing fixtures breaks or you experience problems with your water supply, you might think that you are dealing with a plumbing emergency. The fact of the matter is that many homeowners perceive situations as being emergencies when these problems can actually wait to be addressed during a plumber’s regular business hours.
You need to ask yourself a few important questions to determine if you are truly dealing with a plumbing emergency. First, do you need to utilize the broken plumbing before a plumber can be scheduled? You may be able to turn off the valve allowing water to enter a leaky toilet or avoid using a clogged sink for a few days. These types of repairs typically don’t constitute an emergency.
Second, will postponing repairs lead to additional problems? Serious leaks can compromise the structural integrity of your home and damage wall, ceiling, and floor materials. If there will be collateral damage as a result of the plumbing problem, have a plumber come to your home after hours to make emergency repairs.
Turn Off the Water Supply
All homeowners need to be familiar with the most effective ways to eliminate the flow of water coming into their property. Turn off your water to help minimize the amount of damage an emergency plumbing situation causes by reducing the amount of water that leaks out of your plumbing system and into your home.
Some plumbing fixtures, like the toilet or water heater, have individual valves that control their water supply. If one of these fixtures is leaking, then shutting off the valve to that appliance will minimize damage without compromising the function of the rest of your plumbing. If you are unable to locate an individual shut-off valve, you will need to turn off your main water supply.
The main shut-off valve is located in your home’s basement, crawlspace, or near the exterior foundation wall. Close this valve to prevent any water from entering the pipes that service your home. This helps to reduce water exposure and keeps damage to a minimum while you wait for a plumber to arrive.
Eliminate Standing Water
Once you have ensured that no additional water will leak into your home while you wait for a plumber, you should turn your attention to the standing water the plumbing emergency has created. Removing this water quickly and efficiently will help you minimize the amount of structural damage your home sustains.
Use a mop or towels to sop up water from the floor. If you have a wet-dry vacuum, you can use this device to eliminate standing water as well. Remove all electronic devices or upholstered items from the area to avoid having these items sustain water damage.
Direct fans toward the wet walls, ceiling, or flooring to help dry these structural elements quickly. The faster you can eliminate any moisture produced by a plumbing emergency, the less likely you are to have to battle mold or mildew growth.
Call Two Men and a Snake, for help dealing with any plumbing disaster that might affect your home in the future.