Broken pipes can be a big problem if left untreated. It may even cause extensive water damage to your property. If you think broken pipes are the biggest problem, wait till you deal with the effects of water damage to your property. Your priceless possessions and important documents can get damaged and it can be very hard to restore it to its original state.
Besides water damaged property, another problem that stems from broken pipes and the resultant water damage is the health issues. Mold and mildew can grow on your water damaged things within 24 hours so you need to act fast to eradicate the problem. Also, contaminated water can bring many diseases like diarrhea and skin disorders.
Broken pipes are one of the most common causes of water damage in many homes. You can treat water damage on your own, if you know the proper drying process required to eliminate the presence of molds and restore your things to its original state. But the problem with restoring and repairing your broken pipes is different. You can try to do it on your own, but if you don’t know the proper solution to the problem, it can only get worse. Also, some of the fixes that you try can be temporary and it can come back in the future to haunt you. So, it is advisable that you contact a professional contractor to repair your broken pipes.
Broken pipes are mainly caused by external factors like weather conditions. Some extreme weather conditions including strong winds from a storm or cold climates can cause water pipes to freeze and break.
Before you hire a contractor there are several things that you need to keep in mind. Read along so that you will be better informed once the need to hire a contractor to fix your broken pipes arises.
- If you already know a contractor who has experience with broken pipes, you can enlist his services. If he has been working with you and in your home for a long time, he will be familiar with your home and how you want things to be done, so the restoration and repair time will be quicker. Also, there will be a mutual degree of comfort and this will make things very easy.
- If you are scouting around for a new contractor, you can ask your family, neighbors or friends if they know of a good and recommendable contractor. This will be better since the people around you know this certain contractor already and will vouch for his professionalism and trustworthiness.
- Another source that you can use in looking for contractors is the Internet. You can browse around home repair forums and online discussions and ask the members if they can recommend a contractor to fix your broken pipes. You can also look into your local phone directory and look for contractors in your area.
- Keep in mind that the Internet can also be a venue for fake contractors to wait for the next victim to approach them. Make sure that the contractor you found on the Internet has sufficient contact details outside the web. Important information to look out for is a valid mailing address and a working phone number. If you are searching for a contractor on the Internet, make sure to give him a call to check if his phone number is authentic. You can also try to visit his place of business if it is close to your home.
- In choosing a new contractor you must:
- Come up with a list of qualities that you want your contractor to possess. This will help you to trim down your potential contractor list and will also guide to choose the right contractor.
- Make sure that the contractors you have on your list are capable of fixing broken pipes.
- It also important that the contractors that you are considering to fix your broken pipes should have a registered and valid license number.
- Ask for written quotations from the contractors so that you can go through their estimates and understand the break up of costs. Remember that the cheapest contractor need not be the best choice. Instead, look at his quotation and asses if he will be using quality materials and if his computations are accurate.
- Ask for three or more references from your potential contractors. Call these references and inquire about the background of the contractor. Some questions can be - whether he has previous experience with broken pipes, what is the overall quality of his work and his work ethics will help you to determine his professionalism and talent.
- If possible, hire contractors who already have more than 5 years of experience. If they have been in the business for so long, they must have been doing something right and of course, longevity will also equate to sufficient experience in handling broken pipes.
- If the extent of the water damage from the broken pipes is overwhelming, then it is better to hire a contractor who will also act as a water damage expert. By doing this, both restoration and repair can be done at the same time.
- Be aware of the scams that contractors are doing, keep an eye out for these warning signs:
- Be wary when your contractor suggests that you should call up your insurance company to file a claim even if the cause of the broken pipes is unknown.
- You should be alarmed if the contractor tries to convince you to change your story a little to make it sound like the broken pipes should be fit for a claim. This is insurance fraud and if you agree to this you can be held liable.
- The most famous and usual scam that fraudulent contractors will do is to take your money and run away without completing the work.
- Another scam that fake contractors can do to you is to file a case against you even if you did not do anything. He can fake his injuries that he supposedly got while working on your property. This is why you need to verify his insurance This will help you to protect yourself from possible situations like this.
Once you have already selected one contractor out of your potential list of contractors to fix your broken pipes, here are the next steps that you need to do.
- Set up a meeting with the contractor and ask him to give you a background or time line on how he will be able to finish fixing your broken pipes.
- If you have budget constraints, let your contractor know before you start the project.
- Before the start of the actual fixing and restoration of broken pipes, you should have the contractor sign a written contract based on the terms that you agreed upon during your preliminary meeting. This will ensure that all the things are well documented and you have a binding agreement that will be enforced throughout the project. Also, the signed contract will act as a security if one party refuses to deliver or finish what is agreed on the contract.
- It is very important to verify the insurance of your contractor. This is very significant if unforeseen accidents happen to your contractor while he is in your premises. Check to make sure his insurance is still in place and valid. His insurance will act as a security for you. He will not be able to make any false claims against you. Without this, he may even file law suits against you. Check to make sure that he is covered by Workman’s Compensation Insurance, which would cover you if the worker is injured in your property; General Liability Insurance, which would protect your and your home if the contractor damages your property and Automobile Insurance which will protect you if contractor’s automobile causes damage to any other vehicle in your property.
- It is okay to make a small sum of money as a down payment to the contractor before he begins his work. The usual practice is that contractors will be paid 25-30% of the agreed amount at the start of the project and the remaining payment will be made to him once he finishes his work properly. This will also assure him that he will be compensated after his work is done properly. Do not pay contractors the full amount before they start their work.
Hiring a contractor when it comes to repairing your broken pipes will be the best decision to make when you are faced with this problem. These contractors have ample years of experience in dealing with broken pipes so they know exactly what they should be doing. Also, they have specialized equipment and training when it comes to this type of situation. Just remember that in hiring a contractor to fix your broken pipes, keep in mind the different tips that were enumerated above and you will definitely have a stress-free time when dealing with broken pipes.