When a plumbing emergency happens in your home there are some things that you can do to limit the damage … and some things that you do which will compound the damage. It is best to have a plan and know what you should and shouldn’t do in case of a plumbing emergency.
Shut off the main water valve. It is important that you and all of the members of your household know where the main water valve is located and how to shut it off. This is the source that brings all of the water into your home from the city water supply. When you turn off the main water valve, there will be no water coming to any of the fixtures in your home. However, during a plumbing emergency this is exactly with you want. Eliminating the supply of water will limit the amount of water damage that is done. If you have a burst pipe or a flooding toilet, there is no end to the damage until there is an end to the supply of water.
Contact a plumber. Once the supply of water has been eliminated and the threat of water damage diffused, it is time to call for help. The best course of action is to research a trusted and reliable plumber in your area and have their name and number with your list of emergency contacts – either on the refrigerator or tacked to the wall. This way anytime there is a plumbing emergency everyone in the home knows who to call and has their contact information. Most plumbers provide emergency plumbing services and you can talk to your chosen plumber about the process for contacting them after hours.
Get a mop. While you are waiting for the plumber to arrive, and you know that no additional water is going to be spurting out from anywhere, start the process of cleaning the flooded water up off of the floor. Not only is this water a slip and fall hazard for you and anyone coming in that area, but the longer it sits on the floor the more chance it has to destroy the flooring and the subfloor. The repair of these could be very costly, not to mention that rotted wood from water damage is the perfect environment for pests and mold infestations.
Make sure that everyone in your household knows to do these three things in the case of a plumbing emergency. Following these steps could make the difference between moderate damage and significant damage that could cost you thousands.