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Water Everywhere! How to Handle a Burst Pipe!

What To Do When Pipes Burst in Lancaster County


Burst pipes, flooding, storm damage, all things no landlord or renter wants to hear. Water can do a great deal of damage in a short amount of time, so responsiveness is crucial. While not all situations are preventable, the actions you take immediately can have a significant impact on the overall outcome and scope of the damage. Follow along with the steps below to minimize cost and learn what to do when pipes burst.

What to Do When Pipes Burst or Leaks Appear

  1. Locate the Water Shut-off Valve: If you do not know the location of the home’s water value, ask your property manager or landlord. Once located, mark it, so it is easier to find next time. Since city water supply often comes from the street to the home, check utility rooms, basement, or garage area.
  2. Turn Off the Water: In emergencies, locating and turning off the home’s water supply is the first best step to limiting damage. Depending on the type of valve you have, turn it clockwise until you cannot turn anymore. Also, for ball valves, turn clockwise, so the lever is at 90 degrees or perpendicular to the waterline.
  3. Preserve What You Can: Immediately do what you can to prevent further damage, such as removing threatened items in the surrounding area. If pipe continues to leak with remaining water in pipes, catch the water in a container and mop up what you can.
  4. Contact Your Landlord: Once the emergency is under control, contact your property manager or landlord. Let them know the scope and detail of the problem, as well as the steps you have taken so far.
  5. Make Repairs: As a landlord, a leak is a maintenance emergency. If you have homeowner’s insurance, call your agent to determine coverage. Contact a licensed maintenance specialist or plumber to access and repair the issue as soon as possible. Once complete, additional work may be needed to fix walls, flooring, or ceiling materials damaged because of the water.
  6. Turn Water Back On: Once all repairs are complete, the repairman will turn the water back on. They will ensure there are no more leaks, and all components are functioning correctly.

 Average Cost of Water Damage Restoration in Lancaster County

The cost to repair or restore your rental property after water damage can vary significantly based on the scope of the job. That said, there are some standard steps and costs associated with any situation. Consider these costs when dealing with burst pipes and water damage:

  • Burst pipe repair: $200-$500
  • Flooded basement cleanup: $3000 to $10,000
  • Storm Damage Recovery: $10,000
  • Mold Remediation: $500 to $4000

Check out the chart below, illustrating average expenses in the Lancaster County area.

average water damage costs

How to Prevent Mold Growth in Rental Homes

Wet environments are a breeding ground for mold, which can take hold in as little as 48 hours. Mold only needs oxygen, moisture, ambient temperatures, and food, which can easily be found in drywall to grow. No matter what caused the initial damage, taking action to remove moisture-laden materials is vital. Follow these steps below on preventing mold growth after pipes burst.

  1. Dry Affected Areas Immediately: It is crucial to clean and dry affected areas within 48 hours to help prevent mold growth. Mopping up plus the use of drying fans will be your best bet!
  2. Watch for Warning Signs: After thoroughly drying, monitor the area regularly for developing musty odor or discoloration.
  3. Check the Exterior: Routinely check around the home for any accumulation of water or drainage issues. If the ground is saturated, mold can begin outside and migrate inside. Just like indoors, keeping things dry outside is the key to preventing mold growth.
  4. Replace Damaged Material: Not every material can be cleaned and dried enough to be saved. It is more costly to continue remediating mold than it is just to replace the effected material such as studs or drywall. So, if it is not clean, start fresh.


Burst pipes, flooding, storm damage can cause financially devastating damage if not remedied quickly. The actions you take have a significant impact on the overall outcome. Following these steps above and making your tenants aware of maintenance procedures will save big in the long run. Want a stress free landlord experience? Call the experts at Bay Property Management Group Lancaster County! Their experienced property management team will work quickly to handle all rental property issues, including maintenance for you. Call us today!