There are several steps you should take if one of the water pipes in your home freezes and bursts open. Read on to find out what these steps are.
Turn off the water and the electricity supply
The first thing you should do in this situation is switch off both the water supply and the electricity supply. Failing to turn off the former could result in your home being flooded and severely damaged in a matter of minutes.
Unless the broken pipe is located in an area of your home that does not have any electrical outlets (such as the garage, for example) it is also important to switch off your home's electricity supply at the fuse board. This is because if the flooded room in which the burst pipe is located contains plug sockets or electrical devices and you walk around in this area, you could end up being electrocuted.
Approach the affected area with caution
Even after you have turned both the electrical and water supplies off, you should still only enter the affected room if absolutely necessary. The main reason for this is that the water that has come out of the pipe could be contaminated with harmful pathogens (if it is a wastewater pipe). If you or your family members come into contact with this contaminated water, you could become seriously ill. Make sure to keep your pets well away from the room, too, as both cats and dogs could attempt to drink the (potentially poisonous) water.
If you need to go into the room, make sure to wear waterproof wellingtons and thick rubber gloves so that the water does not come into contact with your skin.
Call an emergency plumber
Even if only a small amount of water emerges from the burst pipe, it is still vital to contact an emergency plumber immediately. Whilst the services of an emergency plumber usually costs more than those of a standard one, this additional expense could actually save you money in the long run.
If you choose to wait a few days and hire a standard plumber to repair the pipe, your home could end up sustaining significant water damage, which could cost a great deal of money to repair.
Even a seemingly small, continuous drip coming out of a broken pipe could potentially inflict damage on your property's timber framework (by encouraging the growth of a fungus called wet rot). It could also damage your wallpaper and carpeting.
An emergency plumber will be able to replace or patch up the broken pipe within an hour or two and will prevent it from causing serious damage that could affect your home's appearance and structural stability.