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What to Do When a Burst Water Heater Causes Flood Damage

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , .

A burst water heater can cause significant water damage and must be immediately addressed. At Soil-Away we’ve responded to hundreds of flooded basements calls over the years due to failed hot water tanks. This article is designed to help you navigate the initial response to finding water bursting from your hot water tank. The goal is to minimize damages and recover as quickly as possible. If you need help, please call us at 603-641-6555.

Stopping the Flow of Water and Taking Safety Precautions

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), a burst water heater is one of the top causes for residential water damage.  In a properly functioning water heater, the water will stop once the tank is full.  However, if the water is instead leaking into the home the flow will continue as the tank is unable to fill entirely because of the leak.  This can mean a lot of damage in a short amount of time.  Priority should be turning off the water to the heater as soon as the problem has been detected.

You can stop the water from filling up and continuously leaking out of the water heater by turning the water supply valve. There typically are two different kinds: gate-style valve and ball-style valve. A gate valve is a wheel which you’ll twist clockwise until it will no longer turn.  A ball valve is a handle that you’ll turn 180 degrees to shut off the water supply. If the valves are broken, your home should have a master shutoff.

Another safety precaution is to turn off the power supply. Most hot water tanks are either electrical or gas. If it is electrical, it is a best practice to shut the power off at the breaker at your home’s electrical panel. If your tank is gas, there should be a dedicated gas shut off valve leading to the tank. Don’t do anything you are not comfortable with. There is nothing wrong with calling a licensed contractor for assistance. Safety first!

Now the Flooded Basement Cleanup Can Begin

After these initial safety steps have been taken, the real cleanup can begin.  Don’t forget to take pictures of the scene to document for insurance. Start by removing any salvageable items from the water and extracting the standing water.  Once you have addressed the immediate concerns surrounding the flood, you should contact your insurance company.  An adjuster will likely come to assess the damage.  The photos you took will help document the damage and assist with the insurance company’s assessment. 

Once the insurance claim has been filed, you may consider calling in reinforcements.  A restoration company, like Soil-Away, experienced in flood damage can help to restore your home to its pre-flood state. A professional restoration contractor will have the staff, training and equipment to properly cleanup and repair your basement to pre-loss condition. They will even be able to help with the insurance claim process to take stress off you.

The Soil-Away team is available 24/7, 365 days a year.  Call 603-641-6555 for restoration needs after a flood.

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Jay KorsenJay Korsen
00:51 04 Aug 22
All I have to say is WOW and FANTASTIC. I just got done building out my new professional office with Soil-Away’s construction division and they went ABOVE and BEYOND. Scott and Mike, the carpenters are skilled artisans. The project got done on time and the project came in on budget! The finished results have been blowing people away. Much better than I could have anticipated. Anyone is welcome to come to our office, Bright Light Chiropractic in Hooksett to check out the fine work they did. Simply can’t sing enough praises for them. Sorry that the picture doesn’t do the job justice. Thank you Jack and your team. -Dr. Jay
Asian BreezeAsian Breeze
04:28 15 Jul 22
Since day one, I’ve known the owner, Jack, to be a hard-working and selfless leader. Through the efforts of him and his team, he was able to restore my flooded restaurant to tip-top shape. I was amazed with Jack’s orderliness throughout the entire process. Jack has proven to me that he is trustworthy, as both a friend and an individual in the work environment.
Breton LangendorferBreton Langendorfer
21:17 07 Jul 22
Highly recommend Soil-Away. A pipe in our upstairs bathroom gave and sent water down through a wall for at least a day before we noticed water dripping through our kitchen ceiling. Our insurance put us in touch with Soil-Away and they were at our house the next morning to assess the damage and dry things out. Joe, Ray and Tom were phenomenal to work with. They explained every part of the process to us and were very professional and friendly. If you have to deal with similar issues call Soil-Away, you won’t regret it.
Maureen CidzikMaureen Cidzik
13:49 15 May 22
Superior service from start to finish. Highly responsive. The entire team is dedicated to quality and customer care and it shows in everything they do – from first call, to estimate, to job completion.
Sarah GrugnaleSarah Grugnale
16:02 14 Jan 22
Joe and Tommy were amazing to deal with, they kept us updated every step of the process. They were punctual and hard working, answering all of our questions that we had. Everything was done as promised and even above and beyond. A great experience from start to finish.
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