Minimize Water Damage By Taking Quick Action After A Plumbing Leak
Although humans need water to survive, water can also be incredibly damaging when it flows freely into structures. It can quickly ruin drywall, carpet, and other building materials. It can also perpetuate the growth of mold and bacteria, which can be harmful to health. Proper remediation is important after any major plumbing leak, but quick action is also beneficial. Here are some actions you can take immediately after discovering a plumbing leak in order to hopefully minimize the damage.
Turn off the water ASAP.
As soon as you notice your plumbing is leaking, try to turn off the water supply. It's usually easiest to just find the valve closest to the leak. For example, if a pipe leading to your bathroom is leaking, there is probably a valve on that pipe in the basement, and turning that valve will stop the flow of water through the damaged pipe. If you can't figure out where the valve for the specific leaking pipe is, then you can just turn off the main water valve, which will stop the flow of water into your whole home. The sooner you do this, the less water you'll have to contend with.
Move delicate and valuable materials.
If there is anything valuable that got wet, grab it and take it outside (or into the garage or another dry area). The longer it stays in the wet area, the more moisture it will absorb, and the smaller chance you will have of saving it. Obviously you can't rescue everything from the wetness, but you should aim to save the most valuable or meaningful items ASAP.
Bail the water out.
If there are inches of water in the home, start bailing it out as soon as you can. (If you happen to have access to a pump, you can just plug that in, but otherwise, just use a bucket to scoop the water out.) This will help keep water from trickling down to a lower floor. In the basement, it will help reduce the exposure of the bottom of the drywall or other wall material to moisture, which may help you avoid having to replace that material.
Once you follow these steps, give a water damage remediation company a call. They can come to evaluate the damage and then help you take more extensive cleanup and repair steps. At least by turning off the water, moving valuables, and bailing the water out, you'll be off to a good start.