It’s important to know where the water shutoff valves are in your home. Should the plumbing system spring a leak, it’s an inconvenience, but you can certainly go to a dedicated shutoff valve (located beside the toilet, sink, or fixture it services) or turn off the water to the whole house to stop the flow of water and then call in a plumber for help.
Of course, if a plumbing leak occurs while you’re at work, there’s no way to know about it, and no one home to shut off the water. What can you do in this situation? And is there any way to prevent it from happening?
When you come home to soaked carpets, a wet floor, or a spraying pipe, don’t panic. It’s important to act fast to get the problem under control. Be sure the area is safe, and then shut off the water, either to the appliance or fixture itself or to the whole home.
Then, you need to take steps to clean up the area as quickly as possible. If water were able to pool all day, it could already have caused damage to the foundation of your home, your cabinets, carpets, or items in the room. But you shouldn’t wait to find out. These damages get worse by the second, so grab a mop and a bucket, all of the towels you have, or even a wet/dry vacuum cleaner if you can get ahold of one and get started.
CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
In case you are worried about damages to your home or the cost of repairing the leak, be sure to contact your homeowner’s insurance provider ASAP. It’s possible that the leak won’t be covered, but it’s better to know now than to wait for the cost of damages to add up. Sometimes, when you wait too long, your insurer can cite the length of time as a reason to deny a claim, so acting quickly is always your best bet.
CALL A QUALIFIED PLUMBER
All in all, you’ll need a professional plumber (not a handyman!) to fix this leak. Your professional plumber will be able to locate the source of the leak, find the right method of the repair, and fix the problem efficiently with something that’s not simply temporary. Make sure you hire a licensed plumbing contractor and not a fly-by-night service or a neighbor who’s good with repairs.
TAKE STEPS TO PREVENT THIS
In the future, you know this is something you want to avoid. Luckily, there are steps you can take to keep you aware of what’s going on in your home, even if you are nowhere near it, or to prevent these leaks from causing major damage.
Automated water leak detection systems are becoming more and more common in homes across the country. These connect to the pipes or sit on the floor to detect water leakage. If a leak occurs, it can either close off the water valve (with more advanced systems) or send an alert to your phone so you can take off and address the problem.