Leaky or broken pipes can be a nightmare. Not only are they expensive to repair or replace but they wreak havoc on your home as a whole. Water can damage your home worse than any sledgehammer could. Because water seeps into wood, drywall, and carpet and stays there, usually until professionally dried out, it can erode and corrode your home from the inside out. In Florida, water damage causes billions of dollars each year. Don’t add to that number.
After repairing a broken or leaky pipe, be sure to clean up any standing water as soon as possible. If it is on exposed wood, you may need to rent an industrial dryer or call a professional water damage restoration company. Make sure that the moisture hasn’t gotten further into the flooring or subfloor. This can cause rot and mildew resulting in bad smells or people falling through your floor. It’s also termites’ favorite kind of wood so checking with an exterminator and making sure your pest control service is up to date is advised. Also knock on the walls around the leak to see if they are soft or mushy. This would mean that the drywall needs to be replaced. Hardwood floors are generally sealed against moisture but only for short periods of time. Tile and linoleum are your best bet unless the water gets underneath through a crack or seam.
If the leak occurred over a carpeted area, letting it dry naturally is usually not enough. Even after it has thoroughly “dried”, there may be mildew underneath the carpet. You should be able to smell the mildew within a couple of days. In this case, it is highly advised to hire a professional carpet cleaner to come in and get rid of any remaining growth. The cost of the cleaner generally ends up costing less than trying to do it yourself and you get much better results. Or you can rent a RugDoctor at a home improvement store and give it a shot.
The important thing to remember is that even though the flow has stopped, you may still have an issue with errant water in your home so check and double check all possibilities as soon as possible to avoid much bigger and costlier issues in the future.