The Harris County Engineer’s Office estimated that over 55,000 homes in the Houston area had burst pipes as a result of the winter weather storm that swept through Texas including Houston and neighboring states last week. To prevent further damage from burst pipes, there are several things a homeowner must do.
First, if there are any residual leaks, water should be turned off and a plumber should be called. While on a normal day, it may be hard to find a reputable plumber, it is even harder now as the demand has increased exponentially. Retail outlets such as Home Depot and Lowes have also been reported to be low on inventory, as demand for certain products is exceptionally high.
In the meantime, it is important to remove water from all surfaces, as mold can begin to grow in one day. As a result, it is important to not only dry the area thoroughly, but also to pull up any carpet or flooring that was wet. Sometimes this may be easily accomplished, but other times it may be necessary to call professionals, which can be costly. If possible, using a wet/dry vacuum as well as heavy duty fans can be effective tools in fighting mold.
State Farm stated that in 2020 the average cost of burst pipes was $15,500. Luckily, the Insurance Council of Texas stated that most home insurance policies do cover the damage caused by burst pipes. To ensure coverage, homeowners should document the repairs and damage that was done by taking pictures and keeping receipts. It is important to note that all insurance policies are different, so homeowners will need to call their insurance agents to be sure they know exactly what their policy covers if they would like to use their insurance coverage. You will likely have to cover the costs upfront before your insurance policy is able to reimburse you, as demand for insurance agents is high and it may take time for your claim to be processed.
This is a trying time not only for individual homeowners, but for landlords and tenants as well. If you are a landlord, it is your responsibility to fix damage caused by broken pipes. While tenants’ renters insurance will cover damage to their belongings, it will not cover damage to any parts of the house.
As a result of damage cause by this unprecedented storm, you may decide to sell your property. If so, we are here to help.
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- You can ask us questions and we can provide you FREE guidance and resources so you can make a well educated decision on how to handle the damage to your home. This costs you nothing, there’s absolutely no pressure, no obligation… just free guidance without a catch.