Your pipes could burst due to so many reasons. But ice is one of the most common causes of pipe bursts. When the temperature outside drops, the water in the pipes could freeze, making your pipes expand. After freezing for the first time, they are likely to withstand pressure without bursting. However, when pipes expand and contract often, they gradually weaken and will eventually burst. Pipe bursts can also happen due to corrosion, blockage, and high-water pressure.
How do you know your pipe has burst?
There are signs that you should be on the lookout for when you suspect that your pipes have burst. Among them is whether there is moisture seeping on your ceilings, floors, insulation, and floors. If left unaddressed, this plumbing issue will lead to harmful mold and mildew infestation. Another indication is when you hear water bubbling inside the walls or floors. At times, these signs won’t be visible, and you have to be careful to notice them.
- Sudden changes in water pressure
When your pipe is broken, your system is forced to work harder to maintain a steady supply of water to your fixtures and faucets. The moment you notice that you have uneven or reduced water pressure, it is a clear sign that there is a leak somewhere.
- A hike in the water bills
The moment you experience a sudden rise in your water bill, it’s a sign that there is a burst somewhere along the main pipes. Water that seeps out of your pipe gradually causes usage to rise notably. Thus, an increase in your water bill calls for a thorough inquiry.
- Damp patches in your yard or home
A burst pipe will make water seep into your walls, floor, and ceiling, making it appear as though there are damp patches all over. Your tiles will also become unstable from soaking in the water for a long time. The moment you notice these patches, you need to act fast to avoid extensive damage.
What do you do when your pipes burst?
The moment you come across the above signs, the first thing that you should do is shut off your main water supply. Turning your water supply off stops the flow of water from your pipes, preventing further damage.
The next step is assessing your exterior plumbing to check where the leak may be. This is because some repairs are minor, and you can fix them yourself. If you cannot locate the leak, that means the problem is bigger than you and you need to call team emergency plumber. When it comes to pipe bursts, a plumber will perform a thorough diagnosis and fix the problem immediately.
As you wait for your plumber to arrive, you need to start moving your furniture around to give them access to the suspected areas. This move will make it easy for your plumber to access the problem areas and work faster upon arrival.
Should you spot the leak, you need plug rugs in that area to protect the insulation on your walls. For a dripping ceiling, you need to place buckets to collect water so that it does not damage your floor. Meanwhile, you could use your towels to dry the standing puddles.
Minimizing Odds of Pipe Bursts in the Future
To ensure that your pipes don’t burst in the future, you could adopt some simple and cost-effective measures including:
- Insulating the freezing pipes with flexible foam and rubber backing tape, bubble-film pipe wrap, foam-and-foil pipe insulation, or foil-backed natural cotton.
- Thawing your pipes when you notice that water is not coming out of the faucet. You can start thawing using your hairdryer from the faucet then move slowly to the rest of the frozen pipe.
- Repairing small leaks before they burst.
- Unclogging and replacing corroded pipes.
- Keeping your central heating system on when temperatures fall below the freezing point.
- Sealing cracks or holes to keep off freezing air.
- Allowing your faucet to drip to prevent pressure from building up.
- Opening your bathroom and kitchen cabinets to ensure that warm air circulates to your pipes.
Pipe bursts are a normal occurrence but can be prevented to avoid damage to your property. As the temperature begins to drop and the snow starts to fall, you need to leverage the above tips when you experience a pipe burst.