One of the most panic-inducing issues any homeowner can experience is a burst pipe or even a leak. A burst pipe can be expensive to repair, cause significant water damage, and lead to additional issues in your home as well. Whether you’ve sprung a leak or have a burst pipe, it is important you act quickly, as this can help to reduce the amount of damage your home incurs. Here are four important steps you should take in case of a significant leak. Turn off the water The most important thing you will need to do after a pipe bursts is to turn off the water to your home. If you are able to identify where the pipe is located, you may be able to turn off only a portion of your water. However, to minimize the risk, you should turn off the water to your whole home until you can better identify the source. Make Minor Repairs If the pipe is accessible, you could also try to make some minor and temporary repairs. With a burst pipe, you could often make a quick repair by using duct tape, plumbing glue, or other simple solutions. If you are in a pinch, use rubber bands, nail polish, or even glue to plug the leak until you can get a more professional repair. While these are not meant to last for a very long time, they could help you to handle the problem until you are able to get a professional to your home. Plumber As soon as you are able to, contact a local plumber. If the issue calls for it, it may be worthwhile to pay extra for emergency plumbing service. These plumbers will be able to come to your home at any time of day or night and will be able to handle the problem on the spot. This can include fixing the broken pipe, replacing the pipe entirely, and making any additional repairs necessary to ensure future repairs are not needed. Water Damage Repair While fixing the pipe is the most important step, you also need to clean up any water damage as soon as possible. Through the help of your insurance company, you should be able to identify a contractor that will be able to dry up the water and replace any drywall, carpet, or other elements that need to be replaced. Drying techniques and drying equipment today is significantly better than what was available even 5 years ago. Even if you’ve got a bit of a flood on your hands, new water extraction techniques should be able to sort your home out.Once you notice a leak, it is important to start reacting as quickly as possible. By following these four tips, you can help to minimize the damage of the broken pipe and start the repair process....

Flood damage can be devastating. Whether your home is flooded in a natural disaster or sustained damage from a burst pipe, the process of salvaging your belongings can be daunting. Before you start on restoring your flood-damaged living room, be sure to file a claim with your insurance company and comply with any rules the company may have regarding repairs. This will give you the best chances of having your damages reimbursed. Once you've filed a claim, be sure to save receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses. These include cleaning supplies, restoration company fees, garbage disposal fees and any other costs associated with renovating your living room after a flood. You may not get all of these expenses reimbursed, but keeping track of them boosts your chances. Your first concern when it comes to disaster recovery is mold. Items that stay damp for too long will begin to develop mold spores, and it may be impossible to kill the mold once it's taken hold. This is why it's important to act quickly to dry out your belongings as soon as possible.  Rugs and CarpetingPicking up the carpet and airing it out from below is a good first step for helping it to dry faster. You may need to replace the carpet padding but salvage the carpet itself. Rugs should be taken outside and hung in the sunlight to dry if possible. A wet-dry vacuum can help to soak up moisture as well.  Cushions and PillowsStuffed cushions and pillows can be challenging to dry due to their stuffing. If you suspect that they came in contact with contaminated floodwater, throw them out to prevent the risk of disease. Otherwise, try washing them with warm water. Use an extra rinse cycle and tumble dry or hang on an outdoor line.  Furniture Upholstered furniture is very difficult to restore once it has been soaked through. Your best tactic is to strip the furniture down to the frame, clean the frame and reupholster it. It may be cheaper to purchase new furniture than to reupholster your existing pieces. Mattresses, similarly, should be thrown out if they become soaked through. If water damage is less severe, both upholstered furniture and mattresses may be salvaged by drying thoroughly outdoors. Use a wet-dry vacuum to pull as much excess moisture from the furniture as possible before removing all cushions and other accessories and dragging the piece outside. If any of your belongings came in contact with sewage, it might be best to dispose of them for health reasons instead of trying to salvage them....

Flooding is always a threat when natural disasters happen. When a flood-prone area experiences a natural disaster, your home, your belongings, and your personal safety are all on the line. Even if you don’t live in an area that is in danger of flooding, you may experience a broken pipe or water leaking into your home because of improper drainage. You don’t want to deal with these problems, so here are five steps you can take to protect your home. Keep the Gutters Clear First, you want to clean the gutters and the drains in the home. This makes the gutters more effective at diverting debris. Clogged gutters are prone to overflowing, which makes it easy for water to enter the home. With limited space in the gutters, the water gets redirected too close to the home. Be proactive in checking the gutters to make sure that they are cleared, especially if you know there is a big storm coming, or you have just had one. Use Your Security System Your security system is meant to protect your home in all ways, not just from criminals. Many security systems also come equipped with flood sensors that you can place in your basement or near your plumbing. You can monitor these sensors from anywhere, which means you can react quickly to any problems, even if you aren’t home. Inspect Your Roof Regularly You can keep out rain during inclement weather with a solid roof. Verify that the roof is in condition so that you can have peace of mind in knowing that roof damage isn’t a threat to your property. You want to take a quick look at your attic and verify that there are no unresolved leak problems. You should have your roof inspected at least once a year if you live in an area that has a lot of strong storms to make sure there aren’t any problems. Keep an Eye on Danger Spots If you are aware of problem spots that may be prone to flooding, keep an eye on those areas during any storms. If you catch it early on, you can contain the damage. You should also avoid storing anything valuable in that part of your home, so you don’t have to worry about moving a lot of stuff quickly in the case of an emergency.Following these steps prepares you in the event of a flood. You should always be vigilant in preparing for natural disaster events like these. If you do end up with a flood, it is important to act quickly to prevent further damage. This isn’t something you can repair yourself, so get a professional company in right away....

CATEGORY ONE water losses originate from a clean water source. For example, if a basement supply line leaks the water travels through the dog poop on the floor that the homeowners were too lazy to pick up, is that a cat 1 loss? How clean were the floors that got affected by the "clean water"? There is more to determining the category of the loss besides where the water originated from. Water Damage Repair CATEGORY TWO water losses are approximately 75% of all losses based on my experience. Cat 2 losses include sump pump failures, toilet overflows, dishwasher discharge, and washing machine overflows just to name a few. But like others have mentioned category 1 losses can and usually do degrade to a cat 2 loss. Again look beyond where the water originated from because other factors including indoor temperatures, air circulation, and cleanliness of the indoor structure help determine what category of water you are dealing with. Cat 2 water losses usually require a disinfectant to be applied to affected surfaces. Water Damage Mitigation CATEGORY THREE water losses are grossly contaminated and require the use of PPE ( personal protective equipment ) and an AFD ( air filtration device ). Cat 3 losses require removal of contaminated porous building materials such as drywall, carpet, carpet cushion etc. although for the life of me I can't understand why you don't have to remove wood structural members?? Different topic for a different day. Cat 3 losses usually require HWE ( hot water extraction ) and the use of a disinfectant on affected surfaces. Toxic Water Damage Repair CATEGORY FOUR water losses are specialty losses that if you are a newbie and you're dealing with this then I assure you that you are incapable of handling this and you should exit stage left. And yes for you other responders there is a category 4. Category 4 losses are water losses that are mixed with fuel oils, oil or any other "out of the ordinary" chemical that is mixed with the water. These losses require environmental waste hauling companies. After removal of chemically contaminated water the loss is treated as a category 3 loss but requires MUCH more cleaning after removal of contaminated building materials.In conclusion, the IICRC S500 guide for water damage restoration is just that, A GUIDE. Usually, it is a minimum guideline to be followed. For example in construction building codes are a minimum guideline. The best builders go way above and beyond minimum guidelines as do the best water damage restoration companies....