Not many property owners worry about the risk of pipes bursting in the summer time. In fact, it is only a concern during extremely low temperatures around December, January, and February. As the temperatures drop, the water in the pipes can freeze, expand, and create a fissure within the pipe.
To prevent this from happening, it is highly recommended to keep them insulated or heated by doing the following:
- Wrapping them with heat tape or insulation
- Set up heat lamps or space heaters near pipes during extreme conditions
On the other hand, burst pipes can happen at any time of the year due to a number of causes. They can also go undetected for days or even weeks because some are in hidden areas, such as in basements, attics, behind walls, and under floors.
Causes of Pipe Bursts Other than Weather
The most common causes of non-weather related pipe bursts include the following:
- Hard Water: Naturally, water contains a number of minerals, including calcium and magnesium, referred to as “hard water.” While safe for humans and animals to drink, these minerals will cause significant wear and tear on the pipes. After building up inside, the flow of water is slowed and the pressure increases. The insides will also become corroded and weak. It won’t take long before holes develop and create leaks, and ultimately, water damage. But there is a way to slow down the rate of corrosion: adding a water softener to the water will remove the magnesium and calcium and ultimately decrease the chances of a burst pipe.
- Poor plumbing: If the property is old or the plumbing was not installed correctly, it’s only a problem waiting to happen. Bad soldering or loose pipe will quickly lead to them bursting, creating a disaster at the worst time.
- Rust: Older homes and buildings have the highest risk of pipe bursts due to rust and corrosion. These pipes made from iron, steel, and even lead will be quick to rust, causing them to fissure and flood the surrounding area. Many newer homes now have copper and PVC pipes, which can resist rust, but unless necessary, it is cost-prohibitive to run new plumbing lines through a home.
Signs of Pipe Bursts and How to Prevent Them
One of the most obvious signs of a burst pipe is water damage or standing water, but there are others that can let you know of a disaster much sooner. Here are some other signs of pipe bursts as well as how to prevent or limit the damage:
- Water stains: Water damage will often leave yellow marks. It’s important to notice these and take action right away to fix the problem before it becomes worse, such as water coming through the drywall.
- Lower water pressure: Pipes leaks can reduce the overall water pressure in your home, usually occurring right away. Make sure to be conscious of this problem, locating the leak sooner than later.
- Discolored water: If the color of water coming from the faucets is brown or yellow, it is most likely the cause of rust within the pipe. It’s important to locate and replace the pipe right away as it can ruin a number of water-related appliances like the dishwasher and water heater. Make sure to drink bottled water in the meantime.
At any time you notice one of these signs, be sure to call a licensed plumber as soon as possible to fix the leak. Then call for water damage cleanup to extract excess water and repair the affected surfaces.
Here is some additional information regarding water damage cleanup and burst pipes.
Burst Pipes – What to Do:
As soon as you find a burst pipe, taking immediate action is crucial. Without immediate attention, the water will spread and seep into additional building materials and furnishings, even increasing the risk of mold growth.
Many pipe bursts occur when nobody is home, such as when the temperature is kept low while the owners are living in a warmer climate. In this situation, consider installing a water-detection sensor that can send alerts to your computer or phone if the pipes become frozen. Installing low-cost security cameras within the home can also keep you updated if there were ever a problem.
In the situation that the pipes do burst while you are not home, make sure that a trusted neighbor is allowed to access the home to shut off the water supply. Letting them know can mean the difference between a saturated carpet and standing water in the home while you are away.
Call for Water Damage Restoration
As soon as the water is shut off, don’t hesitate to call ServiceMaster of North Texas for emergency flood cleanup. Our technicians are available 24/7 in the Dallas, TX area to respond immediately, extract the water, and set up the drying equipment to prevent as much damage as possible. We can also conduct any repairs as needed, removing soiled drywall, flooring, or carpeting to prevent the risk of mold growth.
ServiceMaster of North Texas is a leading provider of disaster restoration services in the Dallas, TX area, and our technicians are each IICRC-certified, trained, and experienced to provide the best service possible. We also use the industry’s newest equipment and products to ensure quality results while preventing problems in the future.
Give us a call at (972) 840-8888 if you live or work in the Dallas, TX area and are dealing with a burst pipe. We are available 24/7.