It becomes an overwhelming situation when you have to face a water leak in your basement, kitchen, or bathroom.
Your stress level can rise from the fact that your basement is flooding due to the pipe burst or your faucet has a water leak for weeks, and you cannot wrap your head around as to why you didn’t notice it before.
Once this initial stress sinks in, another wave of anxiety hits you as to how you can control this damage. This stress attack makes you scramble around the house to minimize the harm that has erupted so suddenly.
Since a million different thoughts are roaming around your head, it becomes quite challenging to focus on the essential things that you should be doing first to stop the water leak.
Therefore, the trick is to remain calm and keep your cool. In such a manner, you will be able to handle the leakage with finesse, minimize the damage, and stay safe.
What can you do when you suspect a water leak?
The World Bank estimates that worldwide 60 percent of the water is lost due to leaky pipes, and the global costs from leaky water pipes total 14 million dollars annually.
To prevent water damage, the right tools and a step-by-step guide will help you figure out what to do next if you stumble upon a leak inside your home.
- Cut out the supply of water.
In several cases, a faulty tap or an overflowing sink causes your house to flood. However, if you are unable to see the source of the leak, you must act instantaneously and shut off the supply of water.
To turn the water supply off, you have to head to the main inlet that is leading to your home. This is the hastiest way to stop the water leak from messing your house.
Not only that, but it is also better to turn the main supply off instead of wasting your time trying to locate the source of the leak. Your carpets will submerge into the water before you even realize it.
- Switch off the electricity
A water leak can result in flooding, and this can put you at risk of electrocution if, by chance, your electrical outlets or appliances get wet.
According to Sciencing, pure water is an excellent electricity conductor because it has dissolved salts and metals. So, if an electrical source hits the water and you come in contact with it, the water will probably electrocute you.
Even though if there is not an immediate risk of electrocution, switch off the electricity supply from the consumer unit in your home. This will bring you another step closer to staying safe.
- Assess the type of water leak you have
Once you have switched off the supply of electricity and water in your house, the next step is to assess the type of water leak you have. Here are some of the common types of leaks:
- Non-damaging – yet costly leaks
These leaks, albeit inconvenient, do not create havoc in your home. The minimal damage will cost you more time, money, and energy to resolve the problem.
Consider the last time you went to your bathroom to hear the toilet running, although you have not used it recently. These types of leaks are the least severe leaks you can experience.
- Minimal damage – but will become worse over time.
Minimal damage leaks may seem minor, and it may not be a massive issue for you at first. However, if you do not address and pay heed to it, these leaks can cause more damage to your house in the future.
You may fail to notice such leaks, for instance, a leak in your shower, faucet or a wall, or a drip from an appliance. Occasionally, these leaks can occur in more dangerous areas of your house, such as a water heater or a boiler.
Research cited in Hotwaterworks showed that the typical house could lose 2,000 to 20,000 gallons of water per year due to dripping faucets and leakage from water heaters.
- Significant damage – act now before your home gets completely wrecked.
Hopefully, a small leak in your home will not fall into this category because these leaks cause a great deal of harm.
Significant damage is straightforward to detect since your kitchen or a basement will probably flood with water. Leaks that result from burst or frozen pipes have the potential to cause significant damage to your home, and it needs immediate attention.
- Document damage
If the damage is substantial, then you might want to document the destruction caused by the water. If possible, record videos and take photos before making an effort to clean up the mess.
You will require these pieces of evidence to notify your insurance company so that they are conscious of the issue and can take action to help you out in this situation.
- Clean up the mess
If you catch the water leak early enough, then there is a chance that there will not be much water on the floor.
It is crucial to clean up the mess immediately. The failure to do so can provoke mold and mildew growth, and it can make problems worse down the road.
For this reason, it is vital to disinfect your surroundings and make sure to wear protective clothing like boots, eye masks, and gloves, if possible.
- Contact professionals
If you can clean the mess immediately, then you are lucky. Otherwise, directly make a phone call to a professional plumbing service.
The sooner you will detect your leak and repair it, the better it will be. Moreover, if the water leak has caused any electrical damage, then instantly call an electrician to fix it.
If the water leak has created significant flooding, then it is advisable to contact the water removal company immediately.
Several leaks are apparent; however, many water leaks are difficult to detect because the source of the leak is not visible at all.
If you ever experience a catastrophic water leakage in your home, you should try to overcome agitation and not create a panicky situation.
To handle water leaks with grace, follow the simple steps mentioned above. These will enable you to deal with your woes swiftly.