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Dealing With A Big Plumbing Leak? Here's How To Dry It Out

by Tara Pena

You don't have to live in a flood zone for your house to receive water damage. Something as simple as a hose popping off a dishwasher or washing machine could put your floor underwater. The only good thing about a leak from your plumbing is you don't have to worry about mud and contaminants like you do with flood water. Still, you have a big mess to deal with. Here's what to do when you come home to standing water in your house.

Cut Off The Power

If the water is in danger of contacting electrical outlets or appliances, turn off the power at the electrical panel. If water gets in the outlets, it might start a fire or give you a bad electrical shock when you wade through the water.

Stop The Leak

If you're not sure where the water is coming from, turn off your water at the main where it enters your home. You may need to bail out some water before you can figure out what caused the problem. If the problem is a busted pipe, you may need to call an emergency plumber.

Get Rid Of Standing Water

You may be able to sweep the standing water outside, or carry it out by the bucket. If there is a lot of water, you should call a water damage restoration company to help you get rid of it. The longer it stands, more of it will seep behind your walls and under the flooring and cause additional problems. You may need to have the water pumped out. Once the water level falls, you may be able to remove the rest of it with a wet vac and mop.

Find Hidden Water

Finding hidden water isn't easy, and you may need professional help to find it. Depending on the type of floor you have, you may need to pull it up. If you have carpet, it is probably soaked down to the pad. If you have vinyl tiles, water may have seeped between the seams.

Water also flows between the walls, where it takes a very long time to evaporate. In the mean time, it will make your home smell bad, encourage the growth of mold, and cause the wood to warp and rot. A contractor may be able to remove the hidden water with commercial suction equipment, but you might need to remove drywall if it is soaked.

Drying out your home quickly is very important. Open windows and use fans or dehumidifiers, so you can reduce the risk of mold. If you caught the leak before too much water accumulated, and you are able to act quickly, you may be able to dry out your home by yourself. However, if water has been standing in your home long enough to give everything a good soaking, it may be best to call for professional help right away.