It could be called a homeowner’s worst nightmare, that moment when you realise there is water running down the kitchen wall, and then it becomes evident that the water is coming from the bathroom above, while your thoughts turn to that expensive carpet you just had put down. Before the panic sets in, there are some things you can do to minimise the damage.
- Turn Off the Water Supply – This must be the very first thing you do, even before calling the plumber, so if you are unsure where the mains stopcock is located, take a few minutes to familiarise yourself. This would typically be at the perimeter of the property, and if you still can’t locate it, look in the area where the meters are, as a valve would be located there also.
- Stay Calm – now the water has been turned off, the damage had been limited, and you need to be focused if you are to act promptly. The damage might have been a lot more if you hadn’t come home when you did, so try to look at things in a positive light.
- Call the Plumber – As is with most domestic emergencies, it will typically happen outside of normal working hours, or on a Sunday, so make sure you already have the number of a reputable plumbing service that are on call round the clock. If you live in Western Australia, and are looking for an emergency plumber in Perth, you couldn’t do any better than PlumbDog, who will have it fixed in no time.
- Check for Electrical Appliances – If there is water on the floor, look for any appliances that are connected to the power supply and unplug them. Water and electricity do not mix, and NEVER touch a light switch or any live appliance if you are standing in water. Once you have made sure there is no way that any electrical appliance could come in contact with the leaked water, you can begin to assess the damage.
- Remove What you Can – Carpets and rugs can be taken outside and left in the sun, and armed with sponges and buckets (every household should have these) you can begin to remove the water.
- Prepare the Area – If you can source the leak, clear furniture and carpets away to give the plumber room to move, and if you don’t do this, the plumber will, and with time being money, it will save you a little if he or she can start to fix the leak immediately.
- Check the Work – Once the plumber has finished, don’t be afraid to ask to see the repairs, and any reputable tradesman would be more than happy to show you what they did. If the plumber is your regular guy, perhaps you can skip this step, but either way, it is always good to have a look.
It is always a good idea to be prepared, and if you keep all the important essential service numbers in your phone memory, at least you will get a head start if the worst happens.