How to Prevent and Deal with Flooding from Broken Pipes

Are you worried about frozen pipes breaking and flooding your basement with water? Often this happens in the middle of the night, and the hapless homeowner awakens to a basement feet deep in water that is still rising. What can you do to prevent this from happening (and how do you deal with it when it does)?

First, follow recommendations in your area to avoid frozen pipes. You can protect pipes in a variety of different ways, by wrapping them, allowing them to drip, and so on. If you can prevent pipes form freezing at all, the battle may be won already.

However, in some cases, forethought doesn’t come soon enough, or a neighbor’s pipes may break and water run into your property, or any number of catastrophes can happen that cause basement flooding, In that case, there are a few ways you can plan ahead for disaster.

1. A well maintained sump pump is a must, as well as a working furnace, make sure you have these checked in advance of the season as part of winterizing. If your furnace goes out, the temperature in your basement will slowly drop, until it is as cold inside as it is outside – and that is when you have a problem, because the pipes that are usually safe in the warmth of your basement can freeze and break.

2. A security alarm can monitor your basement for problems so they’ll be detected before they get out of hand. The earlier you find out about a possible broken pipe or flooding situation, the more time you have to react and stop a small problem from turning into a big and expensive disaster. If you already have a security system, adding a flood sensor (that sounds an alarm if covered in water) and a low temperature sensor (that lets you know if the furnace goes out and the temperature drops to freezing) to it shouldn’t increase your monthly monitoring fee.

3. Decide in advance on a flood remediation specialist to call in case the worst happens and you end up with a significant flood in your basement. You won’t just need water removal – you could need mold and mildew situations addressed as well. “The dry guys” are a full service company that can handle your flood and mold problems and help deal with your insurance company (don’t forget, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover most flooding, so check into flood insurance as well!)

By taking the necessary precautions and guarding as best you can against frozen pipes breaking and causing flooding, you may be able to escape this particular risk of home ownership. If the worst happens and you do end up with flooding from broken water pipes, having a game plan in place can make cleanup and restoration much easier and limit the cost and time it takes to get back to normal!