Indeed, it is that time of year again. Consequently, freezing cold temperatures can mean frozen water inside your pipes. It’s a fear that we all have when we go out of town during the winter. Burst pipes! Sometimes it is unavoidable and sometimes you can prevent it from happening. Here is a “what to do if a pipe bursts in your home”. In addition, there will be a little segment on how to prevent your pipes from bursting. Remember, AllCity Adjusting is here for any of your home insurance needs. Call us today!
What to Do if a Pipe Bursts in Your Home?
First, it is important to understand that your insurance will not cover a “leaky” pipe. “Gradual damage” such as a leak in a pipe or a crack in the foundation will most likely not be covered. However, homeowners insurance generally does cover damage due to broken pipes if the collapse is sudden and unforeseen. Ultimately, you want to act fast! As soon as an issue presents itself, report it. Therefore, we have provided a list of what to do if a pipe bursts in your home.
Follow These Steps:
- SHUT OFF THE MAIN WATER VALVE. Undoubtedly, the first and most important step when a pipe bursts in your home is to stop the water flow. Your main goal at this point is to prevent further damage. This valve is usually located in the basement or on an outside wall in a utility area of the house. Next, you want to relieve the pressure that might be built up in the pipes. Turn on your water faucets in your bathrooms and in the kitchen to drain any excess water that is sitting in the pipes.
CALL A PLUMBER. Ultimately, it is ideal to have a plumber’s number handy in an emergency. Perhaps, keep it written on a sticky note near all major plumbing areas of the house. In any case, call a professional to come fix the problem. Keep record of any service provided and make copies of all receipts of payment. Surely, you will need to provide documentation when you file your claim. If your claim is approved, the insurance company will reimburse you for the cost of the plumber. If a pipe bursts in your home, it is important to prove that it was not gradual damage. For this reason, you must get the plumber to provide a written statement that the burst pipe was a sudden collapse or breakage.
- MITIGATE THE WATER DAMAGE. Certainly, the plumber will fix the pipe that burst. However, it is up to you to get the standing water out of the house to prevent further damage. Fortunately, there are companies that specialize in this exact service. They will come in with big machinery to extract the standing water. Also, they have equipment to dry out rugs, ceilings, sub flooring and more. Additionally, they can spray chemicals on surfaces to prevent mold from growing. Again, your insurance company will reimburse you for these services. Furthermore, you should turn in a copy of your electricity bill. Because the large machines will be running off of your energy, your electricity bill will increase significantly. Remember, the insurance company most likely will NOT mention any of this nor will they ask for the bill or any receipts. It is up to you to hold them accountable.
- CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY. After you have gotten the situation under control, it is time to file your claim. This step is very delicate. For example, you must not use words like “flood” or “leak”, as they can cause your claim to get denied. Your policy is very specific as to what you are and are not covered for. Floods and leaks tend to be areas that are NOT covered. Additionally, you will need to provide details about what caused the damage, how extensive it is, and what repairs and services you had to undertake to prevent further damage and to ensure your safety.
DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Understandably, it is hard to remember to take pictures and videos when you suffer a loss. However, this step alone can mean the difference in your claim being approved or denied. Take pictures and videos of everything. Start at the entrance to the room where the damage originated. Move across the room from left to right. Get photos from all angles of the room. If you can, start a video of the water bursting out of the pipe. Any and all documentation will help. Remember, make copies of your documentation to send to the insurance company. Never send originals.
Hire a Public Adjuster to Help File Your Claim if a Pipe Bursts in Your Home
DON’T DO THIS ALONE. Overall, this is possibly the most important step you can take if a pipe bursts in your home. Hire a public adjuster. Their expertise and knowledge is unparalleled. PA’s know exactly what to say to the insurance company. A public adjuster can provide you peace of mind during this difficult time. Additionally, they will guarantee more money in your pocket. Ultimately, it is up to you to make sure you get what you deserve from the insurance company. Have an advocate on your side to ensure that happens. Call AllCity Adjusting today. Our team of licensed Public Adjusters can provide assistance for any type of home insurance claim.
How to Prevent a Burst Pipe in Your Home
Surely, when temperatures fall below freezing it can add a little extra worry when you leave your home unattended. Frozen water inside your pipes can cause a huge issue and a lot of damage to your home. Fortunately, we have provided a few simple tips to help prevent a burst pipe in your home.
- Keep a Few Faucets Running. A slow drip will do. Movement of water through the system should prevent the lines from freezing.
- Leave Cabinet Doors Open. Allowing warmer air to reach hidden pipes can help prevent the water from freezing.
- Warm Up Cold Areas of Your Home. Keeping areas like your basement or utility room warm can help keep the water supply pipes in these areas warm as well.
- Seal Air Leaks. During freezing temperatures, small air leaks near water supply pipes can cause the pipes to freeze. Seal these leaks with caulk or insulation to keep the cold air out.
- Check the Temp in Your Home. Prevent any areas of your home from going below 32 degrees.
- Consult an Expert. If you want to learn more about how to prevent a burst pipe in your home, call an expert plumber. They can give you all the information you need to keep your home safe.
We hope that you never have to know what to do if a pipe bursts in your home. But, if you do, AllCity Adjusting is here for you. Don’t wait, call us today!
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