How to Handle a Water Main Break to Minimize Damage
It’s unfortunate and overwhelming, but when a water main breaks, causing potential water damage, how you react is critical. A break in a water main typically affects roads and the surrounding properties, causing water damage to residential and commercial property. If you live or own property near a water main, you are also at risk of costly. What are the common signs of a break, and what should you do after it happens?
What is a Water Main?
A water main is the main pipe that provides water throughout the city or town. Usually, most water mains and other pipes are all underground. Nowadays, water mains are constructed of concrete cement, but many older ones were constructed of cast iron or galvanized steel. Though sturdy upon installation, when a water main breaks, thousands of dollars in water damages caused by the water main break can be overwhelming.
What to Do After a Water Main Break
One of the first things you should do after the main water line breaks is call the local Water Department and report what happened. The sooner they are aware of the issue, the sooner services will resume normally, and the extent of water damages are mitigated. Limit the amount of water you use while the water main break is releasing. Don’t drink the tap water and avoid using the bath or shower, laundry machines, or the dishwasher, or any water source if possible. Inspect your property to see if there is any water damage. Be thorough in your inspection to include basements and crawl spaces impacted by water. Be sure to document any damages from the water main break that you find. Depending on the damage, contact your insurance agent and SERVPRO of Phoenix to assist with water removal and remediation. When the water main break has been repaired or replaced, run all faucets and hoses until the water is clear. Flush out your hot water tank by opening the hot water tank faucets and let them run until the water turns cool. Repeat this process a second time after about an hour so that the sediment inside will clear out. Inspect the aerator on all faucets for any debris. You many need to replace some of the aerator screens, but make sure they are all clean of any debris. Any under sinks or house water filtration systems should have their filters replaced also. For refrigerators, run the water for several minutes and then change the filter. With ice makers, let it continue to make ice, but refrain from using any of it for several days.
What Causes a Main Water Line Break?
One of the more common reasons that mains break is due to the age and the environmental temperature surrounding the main. Since installation, a water main goes through a lot of wear and tear which can lead to a failure. When colder temperature begins to freeze the ground, the ground begins to harden and contract putting immense pressure against the water main. The water inside can freeze which as well then adds pressure pushing out from within the water main. While freezing isn’t usually an issue in Phoenix, water temperatures do cause damage too. Warmer and drier temperatures tend to make the grounds shift, crack and settle which causes some twisting and the water main breaks spraying water until help arrives If you live or work near a water main, keep an eye out for any signs of it breaking and be sure follow these tips to prevent and mitigate water damage. Most importantly, be sure to contact a water remediation company like SERVPRO to address the situation as quickly as possible. We can be reached 24/7 to help if you experience any kind of water damage. Call us at 480-503-2090 to get help quickly.