When it comes to common causes of water damage, a burst pipe is often one of the most common culprits. A burst pipe is something that most people usually associate with the cold weather conditions of the winter season. As pipes in a plumbing system freeze in the cold and then thaw as the temperatures begin to rise, they can leak and burst. However, although burst pipes are generally more common during the colder months of the year, in reality, the disaster can happen during any time of the year, at any time of the day or night. What’s more, it’s not always an easily accessible pipe that breaks; many people deal with pipe bursts that take place inside walls where it can go undetected for days or even week, causing significant water damage to the surrounding structures and areas.
When these pipes leak or burst, it often leads to water shooting out, potentially causing indoor flooding which can lead to serious water damages. In the event that this happens, you’ll want to contact a professional water damage company that offers emergency water removal services to quickly and efficiently clean and restore any affected areas of the property.
At 24/7 Aquadry, we have experience responding to burst or leaking pipes. We know the stress and frustration these plumbing issues can cause, which is why, in this blog, we are going to review some of the common causes of a burst pipe, how to prevent pipe bursts and leaks, and what to do in the event that a burst pipe is causing an area to flood.
Common Causes Of A Leaking or Burst Pipe
As mentioned above, one of the most common causes of leaking or burst pipes is due to frigid temperatures during the winter months. However, there are other factors that can potentially cause a pipe to burst or leak, filling an area with unwanted water. Let’s take a look at some other causes of a burst pipe.
In addition to cold temperatures, clogged pipes as potentially the most frequent explanation for unexpected pipe burstings or leaks. As clogs get worse, pressure will gradually increase inside the pipe. The regular increase in pressure will ultimately cause the pipe to burst or break.
Tree Root Infiltration
Most people don’t think of tree roots as one leading causes of a burst pipe, however, it is much more common than they think. Homeowners generally underestimate root growth, as their progress is out of sight. Therefore, they may be under the impression that the tree on their property is located a safe distance away from your plumbing, but as the tree grows, its root system becomes significantly extensive—not to mention that when root intrusion occurs, you may not know immediately, as the water will be seeping underground.
Like just about everything else in your home, if the pipes were not assembled and installed properly, they will eventually cause some issues down the road. Perhaps the plumber or person that installed the pipes rushed things while trying to beat a deadline or got substandard parts to stay under the budget. Regardless of the cause, plumbing systems that are improperly installed are much more susceptible to bursting or leaking.
Unless you have a newer home, it is likely that the pipes in the plumbing system are made of steel, cast iron, or even lead. Eventually, all of these materials will rust and weaken the pipes, causing them to eventually break. Typically, newer homes have copper and PVC pipes, which not only resists rust, but is also a cost-effective way to run new plumbing lines through a home unless necessary.
How To Prevent Pipe Bursts In Your Home
The most obvious sign of a burst pipe is standing water, but there are other clues that can indicate an issue with your plumbing long before your home starts pooling with waters. That’s why we recommend keeping an eye out for these telltale signs:
- Discolored Water. If the water coming out of your faucets is brownish it is an indicator that there is rust inside the pipes. Rusty water can destroy water-using appliances such as hot water heaters and washing machines. Believe us, living with rusty water is no easy feat and discolored water is not something to use in cooking, drinking, or taking a shower.
- Stains on Walls. Water will cause walls and ceilings to become discolored, so be sure to take action at the first sign of watermarks. This may be the only noticeable sign you get for a broken pipe inside a wall until the water begins soaking through the drywall.
- Low Water Pressure. Small holes or leaks in pipes can cause the water pressure in your home to reduce. If you notice a sudden drop in water pressure, a pipe may have recently sprung a leak.
What To Do When A Pipe Bursts
As we now know, a burst pipe can lead to serious water damage to your home and belongings. As soon as you discover a burst or leaking pipe, follow these steps to quickly mitigate some of the damages.
Shut of The Water
Once you notice a burst pipe, be sure to shut off the main water supply by turning off the main stop tap, which is generally in the area where the main service pipe connects to the home or under the kitchen sink. However, in the event that you have to walk through water to shut the tap off, it is vital that you take extra precaution. Because there is a risk of contaminated water or electrocution, this step may be best left to a professional. Once shut off, allow the pipe to drain out the water by turning on all cold taps. Switch off the water heating system and then turn on all hot taps to assist in draining the water supply system. Additionally, flush all the toilets. This should help leaks stop once there is no more water running from the taps.
Locate the Break
Locating the location of the pipe burst should be done immediately to help prevent further water damage. The location of the burst or leak will determine what needs to be done next. For instance, patching may be a temporary solution for a small leak. Also, homeowners should identify which pipe has burst. If the damage is in a main water pipe, it needs to be repaired or replaced and dealt with carefully, regardless of the size or cause of the burst.
Get Help From A Professional Restoration Company
If a leak or burst pipe leads to flooding or water damage, you should always contact an emergency water damage restoration company. A professional water damage restoration company will be able to quickly arrive onsite and provide emergency water removal and thoroughly dry and restore the affected areas. Remember, turn off the main electrical supply unit immediately and make sure not to touch anything electrical if it’s wet.
Additionally, you may want to contact a plumber to replace or repair burst pipes, as well as an electrician to repair any damaged electrical wiring. Attempting to do these repairs and restorations without professional help can be dangerous and potentially cause further damages so it is best to let the experts do the work.
Submit an Insurance Claim
When incidents like emergency water damage occur, it is a good idea to contact your insurance company immediately to begin the claim process. Insurance companies have professionals who specialize in water damage restoration that they can call on for emergencies and pay them as part of your coverage. What’s more, attempting your own water removal and restoration may compromise your insurance policy and leave you with unnecessary expenses. Working with insurance companies can often cause frustration, but some reliable restoration services work with major insurances to handle the claims, which is a nice weight lifted off your shoulders.
As you can see leaking or burst pipes are nothing to mess around with, as they often lead to significant water damage. If you have a burst pipe in Charlotte, Monroe, or the surrounding areas, contact 24/7 Aquadry Restoration. As an IICRC Certified restoration company, our team members are highly trained to quickly identify moisture sources, remove excess water, evaluate mold growth, contain damage, and dry structural materials in an effort to prevent further losses from occurring. To learn more about our emergency water damage services or any of our other restoration services, contact us!