Getting Your Home Back to Normal After a Pipe Burst

White pipe leaking water.

Will homeowner’s insurance cover a burst water pipe?

Before we get into this topic very far, we’ll answer the most popular question first, because you’ll need to know this should you have a burst water pipe.  The big question: is a burst water pipe covered by insurance?

If your home has water damage from a sudden, unexpected incidence like a burst water pipe, your homeowner’s insurance policy will probably provide coverage for the clean-up, along with repairs or replacement of flooring. In addition, the coverage will likely include the drywall and any furniture that was damaged from a burst water pipe. 

What all homeowner’s insurance policies won’t cover is water damage from a leak or any long-standing issue. They will see that as homeowner neglect, even if you didn’t realize you had a burst water pipe and decline your claim. Why? Because an ignored leak (homeowner neglect) can have created other long-standing issues and problems that wouldn’t have happened if the busted water pipe leak was repaired. 

What to Do When a Pipe Bursts

So with all that stated, let’s get other common questions answered, like what happens if a pipe bursts.  Whether it happens immediately or down the road, a burst water pipe will cause damage. A  major burst water pipe can cause flooding, leaving a lot of damage behind. Examples of that damage include, but are not limited to: 

  • Damaged Walls

A burst water pipe, small leak, or major break will create water damage to the interior and exterior walls.  Then the damage will spread inside the wall, saturating the insulation, short out the electrical wiring, setting the perfect situation for a fire to spark.  The paint, plaster, and siding will be affected on the exterior walls.  As the water accumulates and saturates the timber and structural component of the wall over time, the structure becomes weak. 

  • Damaged Ceilings

If there is a second-floor burst water pipe, water will go the path with the least resistance, which means it is going down to the ceiling of the first floor. Enough wager soaking through will pour through the ceiling, flooding the lower area of the house and damage the light fixtures and wiring. The insulation will be damaged, and the support beams will weaken, making the second floor unsafe.

  • Damaged Flooring

Following a burst water pipe, the floors in the area will usually get flooded. The location of the broken water pipe, and flow rate of the water leak will affect how fast this happens. Any carpeting, cement, or wood flooring will likely be damaged. Any linoleum and wood floors will crack and warp, the carpet is soaked and begins to mildew, mold, and smell. Cement flooring that is exposed to long-term water will crack and sink.

  • Damaged Interior

A burst water pipe will often accumulate water in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and other living areas nearby. It saturates the furniture from the bottom up, and soaks into the fabric, destroying upholstery, and often destroys wood furniture. The electrical outlets can short out along with anything plugged into them like computers, lamps, televisions, etc. 

  • Mold Growth Dangers

A water pipe burst inside a house is probably the worst thing a homeowner can experience. In addition to all the damage we reviewed here, a pipe burst flood will create a breeding ground for mildew and mold. The damp drywall, fabrics, wood, and other materials are going to soak up the water and begin to mildew. Mold begins growing and becomes a health hazard. Anyone in the house that has asthma, lung, or other respiratory conditions will begin having more issues. 

Steps to Handle a Burst Pipe

Should you ever experience a burst water pipe situation, you can take control by following these steps.  The faster you act, the less damage your home will experience.

  • Turn the water main off. The first step is to turn the main water supply off. This will stop any more water from flowing into the burst water pipe and house.
  • Call the plumber. Next, call the plumber so you can minimize the damage. Most plumbers offer a 24/7 emergency service, but that doesn’t mean the moment you call, they’re available.  You may need to call several plumbers to find one immediately available. This is why turning the main water is necessary. 
  • Clean and dry up water. Clean and dry up as much water as quickly as you can.  The faster you get the water off the flooring and away from the electrical and furniture, the better. 
  • Drain all the faucets. Drain all the faucets to get the plumbing system empty and relieve pressure from the pipes. Turn the water heater off too so that it isn’t trying to heat water that isn’t there. 
  • Let in warm air. If the burst water pipe is from frozen pipes, you need to slowly warm the house and plumbing so there isn’t more damage. Turn the heat up in the house and if needed, use a hair dryer to thaw pipes under sinks. You need to do this slowly to prevent any more burst water pipes.  
  • Open the doors. Keep the warm air circulating by leaving the doors open through the house, especially bathrooms and kitchen. The warm air flow will dry things out faster. 
  • Install repair sleeves. You can purchase repair sleeves at your local home improvement stores to make a temporary fix for burst water pipes. Simply slide the sleeve over the busted pipe, covering the hole. Have the plumber do a permanent repair. 
  • Clamps, rubber, and wood. You can use clamps, rubber, and wood, for temporary fixes until the plumber is able to repair permanently. 
Woman using a wrench to fix a leaking pipe.

Closing Question 

Just a common as the question about homeowner’s insurance is, how much does it cost to fix a burst water pipe? If you’re unable to stop the leak and make any temporary repairs, an emergency plumber is going to cost, especially if the burst water pipe happens after hours, on holidays, or on weekends.  But the pipe burst repair time is not something you want to put off – the damage has happened and is only getting worse. 

The average nationwide is around $500 but can be as little as $150 and as much as $2,000. Most plumbers will expect to be paid upon completion of the job, and those prices are typically before their hourly rate is added. If you find yourself in need of help with a burst water pipe in Santa Clarita, CA you can reach out to the team at On Call Plumbing by calling 661-201-6016 to get the help you need.