Burst pipes can be disastrous. The amount of sheer water damage done within a short time can cause your head to spin! Even the tiniest crack can release countless gallons of water into your home, causing structural damage, destroying possessions, and creating favorable conditions for dangerous molds to grow. Don’t forget the costs of repairing- from water extraction to repairing the pipe to drying the area to constructing a new drywall.
Recovering from the burst
In the event a pipe bursts, there are several things you should do to recover from it. You will probably need a plumber to help fix the situation.
- Remain calm. If you see some water leakage, don’t rush to do anything. Compose yourself first otherwise you’ll cause more damage.
- Close the main water valve. This is absolutely necessary if you know that your water pipe has burst. Doing this is the only sure way to prevent water loss. It is also a good precaution if your pipe is frozen because it will help you prepare for a small crack you are unaware of.
- Try to locate the burst section. This will be a part of the pipe that is noticeably wetter than the rest… And there may be more than one if you have multiple bursts.
- Open the cold water tap to the burst part of the pipe. This allows you to safely drain the water out of the drain especially if the pipe was frozen then the water melts.
- Warm the pipe. A hairdryer is best-unless the pipe has burst and there’s been a flood, in which case you should never operate electrical devices in the area. Start near the closest tap and work your way towards the frozen sections. Never use an open flame to thaw a pipe-it’s a fire hazard and could harm your pipes.
- Heat the pipe. A hairdryer is the best, in that case, you unless there has been a flood. Remember not to operate any electrical types of equipment in a flood area. Don’t use an open flame to thaw the pipe-it can cause fire and damage the pipe.
- Check the pipe for cracks. When you reopen the main water valve you will want to know that you will not cause a flood.
- Resolve the problem. Call a reputable professional plumber to do an assessment of the situation and make recommendations.
Preventing pipe burst
While the plumber will replace the pipe-and should ensure it doesn’t happen again, it is important to reduce the risk of a pipe burst. Knowing the set of procedures you can use to prevent pipe burst and the damages that come with it would do you good. Below are some tips.
- Know where your stopcock. It’s important because, in the event of a pipe burst, you can quickly shut down the water supply. It can greatly save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in damage repair.
- ensure that all the outside are insulated. For example, all the overflow pipes should be insulated. Also, insulate your cold water tank.
- lag any pipes that are located in an unheated area such as lofts, garages, and basements with good pipe lagging.
- ensure that all the outside pipes are dug deep.
- If you are planning to leave your home for an extended period of time, close the stopcock. Drain the water and then close all taps. Remember to leave your heating on.
Excess water on the floor and surfaces will cause much trouble, such as mold growth. Water pilling resulting from flooding, burst pipes or leaking roofs will contribute to the growth of these molds. Molds will cause a bad appearance of the building and also causing malfunction of electrical appliances.
Molds will ruin wooden furniture, clothing carpeting among other household items. The physical water damage may not be as severe as the damages resulting from mold growth. Mould will start multiplying thus increasing the cost and time taken for restoration.
The condition necessary for mold growth :
Water damage will results in mold growth even when a little amount of water percolates inside without any considerable physical damage. Water intrusion leads to accumulation of moisture on the surface, thus facilitating mold growth.
High humidity levels can also create a suitable condition for mold growth thus when the conditions are met molds start to grow just within a couple of few days
Mold spores and organic materials
Since the wind from the surrounding environment easily carries mold spores, this means that mold will start developing immediately the suitable conditions for mold growth attained.
Since lots of penetrable organic compounds are present in the walls of a house, paints, paper decorations, insulations among other parts, so that means all that is a need for mold has grown is available.
How to Prevent mold growth
Mold growth can easily be avoided by eliminating any form of moisture, which is the first condition necessary for mold grown. Water damage restoration should be done immediately so that the drying of the walls and floors is done before any decay can start developing.
How quick can mold grow?
For effective prevention of mold spores developing in your home, it is essential to understand how faster does the mold grow.
When all suitable conditions are met, ( optimum temperature and moisture), molds will develop and grow within 23 to 48 hours. Mold spores start spreading to other places within five days, but if temperatures are relatively low, they might take 12 days.
After spreading to a large area, they will be visible with naked eyes in about three weeks. Time taken for mold to be evident may vary from one species to another, temperature and the amount of the moisture available. As time progresses, more and more spores develop thus colonizing a wide range of area.
How fast does mold spread?
Mold spores will spread within several hours to a wide range of area. Once the spores are on an organic substance, they develop rhizomes into the surface of the organic material, which is very porous. Within 24 hours they will have matured, thus producing more spores to spread to other areas.
How to prevent mold growth after water damage?
To prevent mold from massively invading your homestead following water damage, it is necessary to have restoration done immediately so that any form of moisture can be dried up within 48 hours. Proper water extraction and drying are the most critical activities needed immediately after water damage has occurred since it ensures that no moisture is available necessary for mold growth.
Following a storm or pipe leak, water tends to flood within the house posing serious detrimental water damage effects. Carpets and rugs tend to absorb a lot of water and thus can be ruined if not cleaned and dried immediately.
Rug and carpet restoration following water damage involves a series of steps and can be done by either an individual or by a professional. These include;
Locating the source of water
It is important to first identify the source of water and try to stop it and this will also help determine how best to handle the damaged carpet. For clean water sources, cleaning the carpet at home is not hazardous but for sewer water sources, it is important to ensure hygienic ways of handling the carpets and rugs to prevent health hazards.
Removing any stagnant water
Depending on the amount of water, this can be done by pumping it followed by the use of a wet or dry vacuum which helps in sucking away water from the carpet. This will help reduce water damage within the rugs and carpets.
Drying the rugs and carpet and floor
The damaged carpets and rugs are first separated from the wet floor before the drying process begins.
Carpet pudding is always destroyed following water damage. Therefore it is first removed and disposed before drying the carpet. The carpet, rugs and floor are then dried using either air blowers, carpet fans or dehumidifier which aid in removing water and circulating fresh air within the room.
This will prevent moulds from growing on the floor and water damaged rugs and carpets.
Sanitizing the floor and carpets
The carpet and floor are then sanitized using a steam sanitizer or chemical sanitizer. This will help prevent mould growth and kill microbial organisms.
Deodorizing of the carpets is also done at this stage to prevent bad odours from occurring following restoration.
Replacing the carpet padding
This is done after the floor and carpet are completely dried and sanitized. The desired carpet budding is then installed by fitting it onto the floor space.
Re-installing the carpet
Following carpet padding installation on the floor, the dried carpet reinstalled onto the floor by placing it on top of the carpet padding.
Factors to consider during rug and carpet restoration:
- Time; it is important to dry the rugs, carpet and floor not more than 24 hours following water damage. This will help in preventing mould growth and more damage.
- Type of water damage; water damage from pipe leaks does not pose detrimental health problems but that from flooding or sewer lines should be handled with care and with proper gear as it is known to contain disease-causing microorganisms.
- Ensuring proper and complete drying of the damaged rugs and carpet; incomplete drying will result in a dampened rug and carpet which harbours mould growth and bad odours. The time taken for the rug and carpet to dry is dependent on the amount of water contained in the rug or carpet, the type of drying equipment used and the type of drying method used.
- Contacting a professional; if the restoration process seems difficult for an individual, it is important to call for a trained professional who will effectively deal with the water damage.
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