Having pipes burst in your home is never an easy task to deal with. The amount of sheer damage that water can do in small amount of time, can make your head spin! Not to mention the costs of repairing. From the water extraction, to the pipe repair, the drying, new drywall, etc. The average cost for pipe burst repairs in the winter of 2010 was somewhere around 20k… Yikes!
Now the most common problem found when dealing with Burst Pipes, had to do with pipes being exposed to low enough temperatures to freeze. Keep in mind, a lot of a houses piping can run either under or in places where heating does not reach.
Water freezes inside the pipe when exposed to those conditions, which naturally expands the metal causing tears in the pipe itself, and leading to noticeable pressure loss and water leaks.
Besides the most common reason for zed damage, there are also of other one less talked about. For example, did you know that a pipe can burst due to the framework of the house?
With time structures settle in different ways depending on the medium they’re built on. Some might end up settling right on top the pipes, potentially damaging them, with the need to be replaced. A burst pipe of this type can be costly, as it can go unnoticed for some time, causing all types of damages, even the need for foundation repair. One of the reasons why it’s important to call an emergency plumber at any sign of pressure loss.
Next on our list is corrosion. This one is the least preventable I would say. Over time this one is just going to happen, unfortunately. Corrosion happens due to the oxidation of the pipe whilst passing water and various other chemicals. Pipes made from steel are most susceptible to corrosion.
Calcium build up is another factor that comes hand in hand with time. The buildup could eventually cause a blockage where pressures might build up and weaken the metal. Later resulting in the same situation.
Lastly I will mention that tree roots may pose a threat to your pipes leakage as well.
Plants and trees are a lot cooler than we give them credit for. They have this crazy ability to sense out where water is. Using their roots, they will “feel” out the area in search for water making their way down into wherever the moisture lies. Since your pipes generally carry water, and are buried under ground, this makes them the perfect fit for destruction to occur. The roots will work their way through small cracks to be able to access the water inside.
Preventing Burst Pipes
As mentioned before, the costs involved in repairing any type of pipe burst can be overwhelming if not handled properly. So with anything, to minimize risk, know the set of procedures you will follow to take care of any damaging water leak.
Here are some simple tips to help prevent any future damage from pipe leaks.
Knowing where your stopcock is can greatly save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in damage repair when those crucial minutes count most. The stopcock for those that don’t know, is the main shut off valve for your water. You should also understand how to operate it, so in the event, you can quickly shut down the water supply.
Make sure any outside piping such as overflow pipes are insulated.
Any piping that resides in an unheated area such as garages, lofts, basements, will need to be lagged with good pipe lagging.
Making sure any outside pipes are dug deep enough
If you plan on leaving your home for any extended period of time, shut off the stopcock. Have water drained, then close the taps again. (important) Be sure to leave your heating on.
Service your central heating system regularly
Insulate your cold water tank.
Fix any dripping faucets before a cold spell.
The more you can do to help prevent and to act decisively when the time comes, the better your pocket and mind will be!