Everyone loves running water – unless the water happens to be running in the wrong places! If you have a broken or burst pipe, the running water can cause severe water damage to your home. You can end up with ruined personal belongings, structural damage to your home, and lingering mold issues. That’s why it is important to take care of a burst pipe as quickly as possible.
But do you know what to do if a pipe bursts? Being prepared with knowledge now can help you handle the situation if it ever arises.
Determining That a Pipe Has Burst
Oftentimes, knowing that a pipe has burst is easy. You will walk into an area of your home and find water on the floor. However, you can have a burst pipe and not see such obvious evidence. Instead, you may notice the following:
- Bad odor – This is most often found in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or the kitchen. A foul smell coming from the drain can mean a sewage leak.
- Odd sounds – Do you hear odd noises when running a faucet, turning on the dishwasher or washing machine, or flushing the toilet? If you notice a gurgling, bubbling, or clanking, you may have a burst pipe.
- Bulges or stains – If a pipe has burst within the walls, ceiling, or floors, you may notice bulges or brown stains.
- High bills – A higher than normal water bill can mean that you have a leak.
Will Insurance Cover the Leak?
The answer is not a simple one. It will depend on your insurance policy and the circumstances behind the leak. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Where is the leak: Some policies will not cover a leak unless it is inside or beneath the structure.
- What is the damage: Some policies will cover the water damage but not replacing the pipe. This would leave you on the hook for the plumbing repairs.
- Cause of the leak: If the leak was “sudden and accidental,” there is a good chance your policy will cover the damage. On the other hand, if the burst pipe was due to wear and tear or lack of maintenance on your part, it might not.
- Type of coverage: Some homeowners have riders that cover water damage not covered by their standard homeowners policy. Be sure to check all of your policies and riders to determine what coverage you have.
Responding to a Burst Pipe
The first thing you should do is stop further damage from occurring. This means shutting off the water immediately. Once the water is no longer flowing, it’s time to start the claims process:
- Assess the damage: Take photos and/or video of the damage. Make a list of personal property that has been damaged or destroyed.
- Call your insurance company: Let them know that you need a claim number and get the ball rolling on filing a claim.
- Get help: You will need to begin cleaning up the water to prevent further damage and keep mold from occurring.
Finally, you should call a public adjuster. At Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, we will help you file the claim with your insurance. We have the expertise to fill out the required documentation to show that the water damage is covered under the policy. We will work to get you the highest possible settlement from your insurance company based on your policy. If you’ve had water damage due to a burst pipe, give us a call. We are here to help.