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How to Clean Water Damage after Burst Pipe

Cold weather is not just uncomfortable; it can also cause problems for your home. One way this happens is when freezing temperatures make your pipes freeze. Whether your pipes are made of metal or plastic, extreme cold can make the water inside them freeze and expand, putting a lot of pressure on the pipes, and sometimes they burst.

When a pipe bursts, water floods into your home, causing damage to the structure of your house and your stuff. If this happens, it’s super important to deal with the flooding fast. Before you start cleaning up, make sure your home is safe. Once it’s safe, you can begin cleaning up after a storm or a burst pipe. Pipes can burst for different reasons, like freezing temperatures, getting old, or changes in the soil and tree roots around them.

But no matter why it happens, homeowners need to act quickly when a pipe bursts. The faster you clean up after a sudden water leak, the less damage you will have to deal with.

What Causes Pipes to Burst?

When it’s cold, pipes in our homes can burst, and it’s mostly because of ice and pressure. Here’s how it works: when the water inside a pipe freezes, it turns into ice, and ice takes up more space than water. So, when the water freezes and turns into ice, it expands, creating pressure inside the pipe. This pressure builds up and can eventually crack or break the pipe.

Now, when the ice thaws or if there’s any water that didn’t freeze, it has only one way to go: out of the pipe. Turning on faucets helps because it releases the pressure, so even if the water inside freezes, it won’t cause a big flood. It’s like letting out some steam to prevent a pot from boiling over. So, by turning on faucets, we are relieving the pressure in the pipes and avoiding major flooding and leaking damage in our homes.

Gear and Equipment You Need to Clean Water Damage

Before you start cleaning, gather these supplies:

  • Tall, waterproof rubber boots
  • Durable, waterproof rubber gloves
  • A few 5-gallon bucket
  • Clean towels and rags
  • A mop
  • A wet-dry vacuum
  • Bleach
  • Desiccant products (if using)
  • A dehumidifier and standing fans

Steps to Clean Up Water Damage After a Burst Pipe

To achieve a thorough, smooth, and secure cleanup process for water damage, follow these steps.

Document the Damage

Before you start cleaning up after a burst pipe, take pictures with your phone to document the damage. Capture images of your belongings, furniture, and the areas that got damaged. Also, focus on the source of the water, like appliances or pipes, and any other damage you find while cleaning. These pictures will be helpful when you need to make an insurance claim. They show what happened and the things that got damaged, making it easier to get the support you need.

Prioritizing Safety During Water Cleanup

Always prioritize safety. If there’s a water leak near electrical appliances, turn off the power to your home before starting the cleaning process. This is crucial to avoid any electrical hazards and keep everyone safe. Water and electricity don’t mix well, so taking this precaution ensures a safer environment as you address the leak. Once the power is off, you can focus on cleaning up without worrying about potential dangers.

Swift Actions for Effective Cleanup

When dealing with a flooded area, it’s essential to quickly remove soaked items like carpets and furniture. These things might not be saved if they soaked up too much water. Taking them out of the flooded space helps prevent further damage and allows for a more efficient cleanup. It’s like taking out wet clothes from the rain – it helps the space dry faster and reduces the risk of mold or other issues.

Drying Out for a Water-Free Floor

After removing soaked items, if there’s still water on the floor, you can use towels and a mop to soak it up. Another helpful tool is a wet-dry shop vac, which quickly sucks up the water. If you don’t have one, you might be able to rent it from a local hardware or home improvement store. It’s like cleaning up a spill – you want to get rid of the water as soon as possible to prevent more problems. So, whether it’s towels, a mop, or a shop vac, these simple tools help make your floor dry and safe again.

Allowing in Clean Air

When the weather is nice, open doors and windows in your home to let in fresh and dry air. This helps to remove the dampness caused by the water. Additionally, bring in fans and set them to the highest speed to enhance air circulation. It’s like giving your home a breath of fresh air after a rainy day – it speeds up the drying process and makes the environment more comfortable. This simple step can significantly contribute to restoring a fresh and airy atmosphere.

Dehumidify for Quick Drying

Consider getting, renting, or borrowing a portable dehumidifier to speed up the drying process in the area most impacted by the burst pipe. This device helps by taking moisture out of the air, working faster than just using fans. You can find these machines at stores, or you might be able to borrow one from a friend. When using a dehumidifier, remember to keep an eye on it and empty the water it collects once it’s full. The water usually accumulates at the back of the unit. It’s like having a helper to remove the dampness, making your space dry and comfy again.

Using Desiccants to Fight Moisture

To tackle lingering moisture, consider buying a desiccant product, which is available at home improvement or hardware stores. Silica gel is a common and easily accessible option, usually found in tubs or sachets. Put these near damp walls or floors – they act like moisture absorbers. You can think of them as little helpers that suck up the extra dampness, making the air and surfaces drier. These desiccants work well alongside dehumidifiers and fans to ensure a thorough drying process. It’s an additional step to keep your space comfortably dry and prevent any long-term issues caused by excess moisture.

Contacting a Restoration Company After a Burst Pipe

Cleaning up after a burst pipe is crucial, but it’s not the end of the job. Even if the water damage seems small and you handled the standing water, it’s smart to get help from a local restoration company such as USA Water Restoration in Longview WA.  Here’s why:

Hidden Damage Risk

Houses can soak up water fast, even from small leaks. This water can sneak into walls and floors cause hidden damage and create a risk for mold and mildew to grow. Also, if one pipe bursts, it could mean that other pipes in the house might be in danger too. So, it’s essential to check for hidden water damage to keep your home safe and dry.

Expert Evaluation

Experts who restore things can check the area where there was a problem, get rid of any leftover water, and find hidden damage that might not be easy to see. If there’s a need for more repairs to the pipes, they can help to fix them. Their main job is to make sure the place is completely cleaned up and safe. So, if something like a burst pipe happens, it’s smart to get these experts involved to ensure everything is back to normal.

Material Replacement

The professionals can change damaged things like the floor and walls to make sure your home is safe. This helps prevent another burst pipe from happening in a different part of your house. They are like the fix-it crew, making sure everything is in good condition after the water damage. So, if something breaks or gets ruined, they can replace it, making your home secure and ready for everyday life again. It’s their way of making sure you won’t have the same problem happening somewhere else.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Specialists, like those at USA Water Restoration, can clean and make the place safe by getting rid of germs. They can also stop mold from growing, which can happen fast after a flood. Regular cleaning stuff might not be strong enough, but these pros have special tools and solutions to do the job well. So, when they clean up, they make sure the place is safe and won’t have mold problems later on.

Contaminant Removal

Companies like USA Water Restoration have special tools to clean everything and make sure there are no harmful things like contaminants and mold left behind. They use these tools to create a space that’s safe and comfy for your family. It’s like having a superhero cleanup team with the best gadgets to keep your home healthy. So, when they finish their work, your place is not just clean; it’s a nice and safe spot for you and your family to be in.

What’s the Benefit of Having Pros Help You with a Burst Pipe?

When a pipe freezes or bursts at home, it’s crucial to call professionals to handle the situation quickly. Their goal is to control the problem fast to prevent further damage and repair any that occurred. Here’s how they can assist:

Pinpointing the Problem

The experts know how to figure out exactly where the burst pipe is in your home and check how much damage it has caused. They use their knowledge and special tools to locate the specific spot of the problem. By doing this, they can understand what kind of harm the burst pipe did to your things and the structure of your home.

It’s like they have detective skills to find the hidden issue and fix it properly to make sure everything is back to normal. So, when a pipe bursts, these professionals can pinpoint the problem and understand what needs fixing.

Tracing Water Movement

The professionals have special tools that help them follow where the water went in your home after a problem like a burst pipe. With these tools, they can track the path the water took and find out which areas were affected. These tools guide them to see where the water went. By doing this, they can figure out exactly which parts of your home need attention and fixing. So, when there’s a water issue, these professionals can use their special tools to understand where the water went and what places were affected.

Identifying Water Damage

The specialists who restore things can see where water has caused damage in different parts of your home, like the ceilings, walls, floors, fixtures, and mechanical areas (like pipes or machinery). They use their keen eyes to identify spots where the water has affected things. By finding these damaged areas, they know what needs fixing to make your home safe and comfortable again. So, when there’s a water problem, these professionals can find and fix all the places that got hurt.

Planning Cleanup and Restoration

The experts will figure out the best plan to clean up and fix things, making sure it’s a good and thorough process. It’s like having a smart strategy to tackle a messy situation. By planning carefully, they can make sure that everything gets cleaned up properly and nothing is left undone. It’s a bit like making a to-do list to make sure all the tasks are completed the right way. So, when there’s a mess to clean up, these professionals will plan the best strategy to get things back to normal.

FAQs Cleaning Water Damage after Burst Pipe

How much does it cost to clean up water damage?

The cost to clean up water damage can vary based on the extent of the damage. It typically ranges from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. But if you want the best services at the most affordable prices then you should choose USA Water Restoration as it is known for offering competitive pricing in this industry and providing cost-effective solutions for water damage cleanup.

How to clean basement water damage?

To clean basement water damage, start by removing standing water using a wet-dry vacuum or buckets. Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the area, and discard or clean damaged items. For extensive damage, consider professional help, like USA Water Restoration, to ensure a thorough and effective cleanup.

How to clean mold in carpet from water damage?

To clean mold in the carpet from water damage, first, ensure the area is dry. Mix water and mild detergent, scrub the mold with a brush, and wipe it with a damp cloth. Use a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar for stubborn mold. If the problem persists, consider professional help for thorough mold removal.

How to clean water-damaged wood?

To clean water-damaged wood, first, remove excess water using towels or a wet vacuum. Gently scrub the wood with a mixture of mild soap and water, then wipe it dry. Use fans and dehumidifiers to ensure the wood dries completely to prevent mold growth.


Cleaning up after water damage, especially from burst pipes, is a big task, but it’s crucial to act fast. Whether it’s documenting the damage, removing soaked items, or using tools like fans and dehumidifiers, each step plays a role in restoring your home. However, the job doesn’t end there.

Calling in professionals is a smart move, as they can quickly identify and tackle hidden issues, ensuring a thorough cleanup. Their expertise in pinpointing burst pipes, tracing water paths, and planning restoration is invaluable. Ultimately, a swift and well-coordinated cleanup, along with professional help, guarantees a safer and more comfortable living space for you and your family.

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