Quick thinking during a plumbing emergency can limit water damage, which saves time and money on cleanup. Next time you encounter a water leak, take these three steps to protect your home from water damage.

1. Turn off the water supply

Before your next plumbing emergency, identify the water shutoff valve for any appliance. Also find the main water shutoff valve for your home. Next time you spot a problem with your sink or toilet, you can turn off the water immediately, shutting the source of the leak.

By preventing water from flowing into the problem area, you can significantly reduce the negative consequences of any issue.

2. Clean up water

Once you’ve turned off the water valve, clean up any water that’s flooded or spilled in the area. Water poses a falls hazard and can damage rugs, floors, and furniture if left to sink in. Use towels or a mop to soak up spilled water.

Once you’ve mopped the area, remove any furniture or items that could be damaged by water exposure. Now, a plumber can quickly access the area and make repairs.

3. Call a plumber

After you’ve reduced the immediate threat, contact a plumber. Many plumbing companies offer emergency services that can fix your problem so you can get back to using your sink, toilet, or other appliances. A plumbing emergency cannot wait for an open appointment, which could be days later. The matter could worsen in the meantime. Spend a little extra for the emergency service call, and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing the issue will soon be under control.

With these three steps, you have an action plan for any plumbing emergency. While you hope never to use it, it’s good to be prepared for emergencies!