A sudden water leak inside a house is often a cause for panic — and with good reason: A very small crack in an indoor water-supply line can release more than 200 gallons of water into a house in one day. The average cost of repairs due to damage caused by indoor water leaks is $2,500.
A sudden water leak can originate from a variety of sources inside a home. Time is of the essence to minimize damage to the house and its possessions. Here’s what to do about a sudden water leak.
Where is the Water Shut-Off Valve?
Know the location of the main water shut-off valve for your house and how to operate it. Over time, shut-off valves may become stuck in the open position and become difficult or impossible to operate in case of a sudden water leak, such as a pipe rupture. Test the valve twice a year to make sure it turns easily. Contact a professional plumber if it’s stuck.
Stop the Spread of Water Leaking
Water damage due to a leak continues to spread beneath walls inside a structure even after the leak itself has been stopped. Take immediate steps to mop or soak up water leakage before it spreads to other rooms. If water is pooling on a hard-surface floor and an exterior door is nearby, use a floor squeegee or even a push broom to push the water outside.
Prevent Mold Contamination
Remove water and dry out affected areas ASAP. Dormant mold spores present indoors activate into growing mold if touched by water. Toxic mold contamination inside a house can become a source of allergic reactions and chronic illness. Active indoor mold growth is typically triggered 48 hours after contact with water.
Find the Source of the Water Leak
If water leakage inside the house is the result of a sewer backup, this is not an appropriate do-it-yourself project, simply for safety reasons. Sewage is toxic and requires professional water-damage recovery services to eliminate contamination.