A broken water pipe is no small problem. The damage can go well beyond your plumbing, affecting walls, floors, and even furniture. Unfortunately, these issues rarely occur at an opportune time and instead tend to surface in the middle of the night or on a weekend when standard plumbing services are unavailable. The following tips can help you manage the problem until you can get a plumber on site:
Tip #1: Shut off the water
Your first and most pressing concern is to stop the flow of water. Turning off the water main is the most effective way to do this. In bathrooms, there is usually a main valve behind the toilet or beneath the sink, while in the kitchen it is generally below the sink. If you can't find the room-specific main, you may need to turn off the master main valve to the house. This is usually located in the basement or in a utility box outside.
Tip #2: Clear out the flooded area
If you are lucky, much of the flood is contained to a small area, such as the cabinet beneath the sink. Pull out everything that was subjected to water. You can wipe things dry with a towel or set them outdoors to dry, but don't place them back in the sink. Also, remove any rugs, step stools, or other furnishings and items that got damp. You don't want to put anything back, even once dry, until you are sure the cabinet interior, wall, and floorboards are completely dry.
Tip #3: Soak up the water
Your next task is to get up as much water as possible so that rot or mold doesn't become an issue. Pull out the towels and the mop and get to work. Once the standing water is up, move on to tackling the damp. Leave cabinet and room doors open so that air can circulate. Fans are also a good idea since these can further speed evaporation and drying. If carpeting got wet, rent a carpet cleaner or water extractor to pull up as much moisture from the carpet and padding as possible.
Depending on the pipe that broke and the main you turned off, you may need to come up with a water plan until a plumber arrives, such as temporarily purchasing water. Or, you can contact a 24-hour emergency plumbing company like Scroggins Plumbing of Kentucky Inc and have the problem fixed right away.