It’s officially the wintertime, which means brutal cold and brutal storms. When this happens, the likelihood of a frozen pipe occurring in your home is pretty high. In some cases, though, a frozen pipe can actually burst and send water gushing into your home.

This could lead to a very messy holiday. If this does happen to you, then you want to spring into action and clean the water up immediately before serious damage occurs. Water damage can become exponentially worse if you don’t act fast. For instance, the water can start to weaken drywall and cause the walls in your home to buckle and possibly collapse. Water damage can also cause wood to warp and mold to grow.

Here is how to prevent water damage when the pipes crack.

Immediately Turn Off the Main Water Supply

If there is a leak, you immediately want to head outside to turn off the main water supply. You can usually find the main shut off near the entrance to your home – underneath a utility gate. All you have to do is turn the switch to the off position. This will cut off the main utility line and the water will stop flowing.

Start Toweling up as much of the Excess Water as Possible

When a pipe cracks or bursts, there is usually a lot of water that spills into the walls or ground. Ideally, you want to start mopping up and soaking up this excess water before it absorbs into drywall or wood. Once that happens, the damage will get progressively worse. If the water has spilled behind a wall, you may need to use suction machines to literally drain the water out. Once the water is out, you want to ventilate properly to make sure the moisture dries.

Find the Area Where the Leak has Occurred

It is one thing to prevent water damage from a leaky or broken pipe, but when you clean up the water, you want to find the actual source of the crack. In some cases, it may be coming from a rusty joist or connector. If the pipe has burst, you may have to preplace the entire pipe. However, if the crack is small, you can usually use plumber’s tape to close the hole. Afterwards, you can turn on your main water supply.

Replace the Part of the Pipe that has Cracked

If your pipe has cracked beyond the point of being able to patch it up, you want to contact a company like Inline Services to replace the pipe. In most cases, they will use what is called a pig to close the pipe and then they will get to work on making any necessary repairs.

Thaw out any other Frozen Areas

Lastly, you may want to think about thawing out any frozen areas in your piping. If one pipe burst, you may have other areas of freezing. In order to thaw out your pipes, you want to use space heaters to loosen up the blockages. Also, you want to let hot water flow throughout your pipes. In the end, you don’t need to let the water flow for a long time – just until the ice melts.

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