Burst pipe? Flood? Tips on cleaning up

March 18, 2021
By: Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical
Posted In: Plumbing Tips

Every year, millions of people are cleaning up after a flood. Many times, it’s because our plumbing is damaged from historic cold fronts and icy weather that have left damage across the country. But, water damage is also caused by broken appliances, damaged roofing, broken weather stripping, and flooding from thunderstorms.after such damage occurs, we have to immediately step in and begin cleaning up. Yes, there are restoration companies that can help, but that takes time our floors and furnishings don’t have.

If a pipe or appliance hose bursts shut off your water immediately. If you see the first signs of a pipe burst like leaking or flooding, newly formed puddles or water stains, or a change in water pressure in your faucets, act fast and turn off your home’s water at the shut-off valve. To be safe, you should also turn off your home’s power before starting any clean-up. Trying to clean up water that may come in contact with an electrical source is dangerous. If you’re experiencing a power outage, make sure your electricity is turned off at the breaker box. There is always a possibility the power may suddenly return. if you have gas appliances or a gas fireplace in your home, find your home’s gas valve and shut off the main gas line to shut off all appliances. Every adult in the home should know where these valves are and how to turn them off. If you can’t access your shut-off valves safely, it’s best to wait for your Abacus expert technician or plumber to do so for you before you begin cleaning up.

Whether you’re dealing with a recently burst pipe or the aftermath of a flood, here’s what you should do to clean up before a professional service arrives. First, call in a professional plumber or repair technician to fix the cause of the problem. In addition to calling for a plumber, file for insurance help ASAP. The Texas Department of Insurance says most homeowner policies cover sudden and accidental water damage. The damage caused by things like a burst pipe, tub or toilet overflow, or a broken appliance hoses is likely covered. Most policies also cover damage if water gets into your house through a storm-damaged roof or window.  Coverage varies by policy, so read your policy or talk to your agent to know what’s covered. If your policy doesn’t cover water damage, you might be able to add the coverage to your policy. Next, call the restoration company to repair any damage. Your insurance company may have a list for you to contact or start researching options on restoration industry websites like The Restoration Industry Association.

Water can damage a house very fast and it doesn’t take a lot of water to create a lot of damage.  It’s important to keep yourself protected while removing standing water and cleaning, especially if there’s a chance that you may be exposed to mold or mildew. Wear proper protective gear if you have it  The EPA recommends donning protective gear before cleaning up your home. If you have safety goggles, heavy-duty rubber gloves, work boots, and N95 respirator masks if you have them. 

Focus on getting as much standing water out of the house and getting the house as clean and dry as possible before mold and mildew growth begins. If the water is only in a portion of your home, keep it from spreading to other rooms, especially if you have wood floors. If you have power, use a wet-dry vacuum (otherwise known as a shop vac) to extract the water from floors, carpets, and hard surfaces. If your power is out or you’ve shut it off, you’ll still want to try to remove the water quickly. Use anything that’ll absorb water— mops, all the towels you have, comforters off your bed, etc. 

You should also try to dry out what’s most susceptible to water damage, like baseboards, flooring, and carpet. Remove any furniture and place it in a dry area. After removing as much water as possible, begin to evaluate the damage done to your furniture and personal items. Paper products, food, and water-damaged electronics will most likely need to be thrown away. Upholstered furniture and rugs may be able to be restored or cleaned, but may require attention from an expert.

By this time, your Abacus plumbing, electrical, and HVAC professionals have already begun to repair your home and your restoration company is helping you clean up. Our Abacus professionals can help with the ongoing maintenance of all of your important plumbing, air conditioning & electrical equipment, as well as annual home inspections to help prevent major plumbing, electrical, or HVAC emergencies down the road. You can count on our analysis of your home’s plumbing, air conditioning & electrical problems as well as our recommendations for installation, and maintenance. We provide state-of-the-art equipment, so all jobs are performed professionally and efficiently. To schedule an appointment with some of the best Austin area plumbers, electricians, or air conditioning repair and installation experts, call (512) 400-0749.