Broken pipes can happen for a variety of reasons. Clogged sewer lines. Heavy rainfall. Freezing temperatures. Old pipes. And when your pipes break it can cause everything from a small puddle to a major home flood that can cause extensive damage.

Limit the damage by taking the following steps as soon as you notice any sign of a leak.

Turn Off the Water

As soon as you can, turn off the water to the affected area. Depending on where the broken pipe is located, this could mean turning off the water to the house.

Disconnect All Electrical Appliances

It’s not new news that electricity and water are a dangerous combination. As soon as you discover a leak, make sure to unplug all the electrical appliances that could come in contact with the flowing or standing water.

Salvage What You Can

Water damage occurs almost instantly with most items. However, the longer an item sits in the water, the most damage that will occur. Don’t just accept the damage, try to move items you want to save to a dry location as soon as possible.

Call Your Insurance Company

Water damage is often covered by insurance. In order to make sure you get your maximum coverage, call your insurance provider and alert them to the issue. Make sure your claim is successfully submitted and get exact details about how to proceed. This will allow you to start the repair process with the peace of mind that your insurance will help you cover some of all of the cost.

Document Everything

No matter what your insurance provider says or how small the detail seems, make sure you document everything that happens. Video and pictures can be an easy way to do this. You’ll also want to save any receipts and keep notes about any damage that occurred and work that’s done.

Get more cleaning tips.