What to do When a Water Pipe Bursts

Emergency Repair, Cleanup, Restoration

As a building owner or facility manager, you already know how important it is to always be prepared for unexpected events.

Like a burst pipe or roof damage.

After all, that’s why you have insurance and other protection in place.

Torn Pipe From FreezingWhile you can do everything in your power to try to keep your property in top condition, sometimes circumstances are just out of your hands.

Bad luck and poor weather can happen to anyone, even the super cautious.

A common situation that you might find yourself scrambling to handle is what to do when a pipe bursts and leaks inside a wall or ceiling.

This devastating event can lead to tons of damage if you don’t address it right away.

Which is why it is critical to act quickly.

Instead of feeling helpless, there are several things you can do to remedy the situation.

Our RestoreMasters team wants to ensure you know exactly what to do in this type of emergency.

Which is why we’ve put together this quick guide.

Here’s what to do when a water pipe bursts.

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What Causes Pipes to Burst?

Extreme cold weather can cause the water in your pipes to freeze and burst.

Because water expands when it turns to ice, the freezing water can expand with such force and pressure that it can tear a hole in metal pipes.

The resulting leak through this gaping hole can cause tremendous damage.

Water Flowing From Frozen Pipe

The truth is that are dozens of reasons as to why a pipe burst can happen.

One of the most common during the winter is a frozen pipe due to sub-zero temperatures.

But that’s just the tip of the so-called iceberg when it comes to these types of plumbing problems.

Even in the spring and summer...

...when the outside air is relatively warm, you can have a situation when plumbing breaks.

And sends water into your building.

Add in sudden storms, age of construction (and even freak accidents).

You can see why it is so important to know what to do when this happens.

The main cause of broken pipes is generally pressure.

Frozen Pipes - Burst Pipe

This can come from freezing water in the lines during cold weather.

Or simply mineral buildup.

When the pressure of the water in the line becomes too great, it can crack or damage the integrity of the pipe.

The final result?

Leaking water coming out inside your walls, ceiling, or wherever the broken pipe is located.

As you can imagine.

This often leads to significant and costly damage to your building.

How a Burst Pipe Damages Your Property

A sudden pipe leak is an emergency situation.

A burst pipe can damage multiple areas of your property all at once.

It's like someone walking inside your building with a fire hose…

And letting water spew everywhere.

You can bet something is going to end up ruined.

The carpet and flooring will need to be replaced.

Water Damaged Wood Floors

Sheetrock can start to grow mold.

Your walls, ceiling, and flooring would all need to dry out.


A burst pipe is exactly like that.

With hundreds or thousands of gallons of water coming out at once inside your walls, there’s going to be a considerable amount of damage.

The good news.

A bit of fast action and a good water removal team can keep this from being an even bigger issue than it already is.

What to Do Immediately After a Water Pipe Bursts

Once you or your tenants have realized that a water pipe has burst.

There are a few steps that you want to take immediately after a pipe bursts.

These quick actions will ensure the water stops flowing and keeps overall damage to a minimum.

Here’s a quick checklist.

PRACTICE SAFETY FIRST: while a burst pipe is an emergency situation, practice safety first. Flooded buildings present a host of safety hazards. Practice extreme caution around electricity, actively flowing water, under saturated sheetrock, etc.

Building Water Main Shutoff Valve

ONE - Cut Off Main Water Valve

The first step is to shut off the inflow of water.

Find the main water valve for your property.

Turn it off immediately to keep any additional water from flowing through the system.

TWO - Turn Off Electricity to the Affected Area

Water and electricity notoriously don’t mix well.

Use the main breaker panel in your building to stop the electric current to the area affected by a burst pipe.

THREE - Contact a Trusted Plumber for Immediate Help

Even if you don’t know exactly where in the wall the leaking pipe is, you’ll want to get an expert out to start the diagnosis and repair process.

Fixing the source of the water leak is priority number one after taking care of the initial emergency.

A plumber can find the leak and repair or replace the damaged section.

FOUR - Get in Touch With a Water Restoration Company

Ideally, before starting cleanup and before filing a claim, get in touch with a water removal company.

A reputable and experienced water damage restoration company will help you document damage for insurance prior to starting work and will be able to deploy quickly to begin the cleanup and dry out process.

The best water removal company can also help you with construction restoration services providing not only cleanup but also build back services.

The team at RestoreMasters can handle all of this for you.

As emergency remediation experts, we’ll come out and assess the situation and will deploy resources quickly to help begin the restoration process.

FIVE - File a Claim With Your Insurance Company

The next step is filing a claim with your insurance.

While we generally recommend that you get the water damage restoration company on scene prior to filing an insurance claim.

Your restoration contractor will begin the process of documenting damage and can help you with the insurance process.


During certain disaster scenarios with travel and resources stretched very thin, you may need to file a claim before your restoration contractor arrives.

That's because some insurance companies have tight deadlines (some as low as 48 hours) for filing a claim when it comes to filing insurance claims for sudden water damage.

Does Insurance Cover Damage From a Burst Pipe?

After damage from a pipe that has burst, you may be wondering if insurance coverage will pay for repairs.

Filing an insurance claim with your property insurance carrier should be near the top of your list after a water pipe bursts.

Again, you’ll want to do this right away.

As delaying this step could cause them to deny your claim.

In most cases, commercial policies pay for water damage restoration services as part of your overall claim.

But you'll want to make sure.

We do hear from commercial property owners all the time who still have problems filing with their insurance company, though.

There are a lot of factors that go into a flood claim associated with a burst pipe, which is why we always recommend you let us help you with the process.

We’ve helped our customers nationwide navigate dealing with insurance and know what it takes to get a claim approved based on your unique policy.

In fact, we work with a team of public adjusters who are highly experienced dealing with situations just like this.Insurance Claim Approved

That’s why you need a disaster restoration company that has extensive experience in dealing with commercial insurance claims.

At RestoreMasters, we bring a whole team to the table.

Your team may consist of public adjusters, attorneys, various building engineers, water extraction and cleanup crews, roofers, interior/exterior construction experts and others all helping to put your property back to pre-loss condition...

...while working directly with your insurance company to process and negotiate details of the claim on your behalf.

Who to Call When a Frozen Pipe Bursts

Before you’ve talked to your insurance company, contact RestoreMasters.

With disaster response teams in place throughout the United States, we can get you back to normal operation in no time.

Then, you’ll want to call your insurance company to file a claim.

Remember, some property insurance policies require you to report water damage within 48 hours, so make sure you get your claim filed.

The good news?

A team from RestoreMasters will help you every step of the way.

Restoremasters Contracting

We can help with more than just cleanup and dry out.

We’ll help you build back your commercial building to pre-loss condition, like it was before leaking pipes caused a problem.

With our national footprint, we have a network of resources that other companies just can't deliver.

And as large loss experts, we our team will work together with your carrier to ensure the property is cleaned up and fully restored.

Ready to learn how RestoreMasters can help after frozen pipes cause damage to your commercial building or property?

Get in touch!

Water Damage Removal Crews

Our teams deploy quickly with water removal, water extraction and dry out equipment to begin the restoration process.

From emergency response to total build back, we'll be with you every step of the way.

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