What to do if your pipes burst

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Frozen and broken pipes can be expensive to fix. One local family says they took all the right steps to prevent it from happening, but now their home is uninhabitable.

Cameron Roberts was at home when the pipe burst at his home.

"Bursting right through the ceiling, like this square area came down and it just started spraying in this direction," said Roberts.

When that happens, the first thing you should do is turn off the water at the meter as quickly as possible.

Parents should teach children how to do it in case they need to help out.

"I feel like I should have known but I didn't. Like I know where our water conditioner was, but I didn't know a thing - I didn't have a clue how to turn it off," said Roberts.

A floating carpet, a chandelier on the ground, and drywall in the nooks and crannies of the armchair- that's all that's left.

Their bathroom sink pipe burst.

"The whole thing was ruined I guess. And these people came over. They started cleaning up all the drywall that fell into the carpet," said Roberts.

What else should you do if it happens to you?


  • Switch off the central heating

  • Turn on all of your faucets to drain the system

  • Don't touch any wiring in case the water reached the electrical box

  • Call a professional

  • File an insurance claim

"They said 3 to 5 days to dry everything out hopefully, but that doesn't count replacing my ceiling, probably replacing my carpet, the drywall for the walls has had to come down because they need to make sure there's no moisture in the walls," said Susan Berger.

She thought she did everything right by dripping the faucet and opening the cabinets-- but it just wasn't her lucky day.

"You can't crawl through your pipeways in your house and check and make sure they're all okay. They're covered up. You don't know which ones about to blow--what might be about to happen," said Berger.

Companies working to fix all these leaks say their world is just one big leak.

One company was so busy it couldn't even do an on camera interview.

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