Burst and Leaking Pipes can be the cause of devastating damage to your home. If you think your pipe is frozen, call us right away. We’ll get on it and get to work immediately identifying the problem and beginning the water restoration process. At MRC Restoration, we understand that every minute counts when something like this happens. It’s crucial to act fast so you can control the damage—and we’re here to help you stop the water damage before it starts.
We dry your entire home, plaster walls included, hardwood floors, carpets and other items. You won’t have to worry about anything else when you call on the professionals at MRC Restoration. Our technicians are available 24/7 to make sure your life is back to normal in no time. We will guide you through every step and keep you informed throughout your claim process to help you get back on your feet after an unfortunate incident.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), pipe breaks are one of the primary sources of water damage in homes. HUD estimates that pipe breaks account for an estimated annual damage estimate of $12 billion in property damages.
Pipe breaks can be caused by various factors, including:
Corrosion: Over time, pipes may corrode, weakening it over time and putting more stress on it to break.
Freezing Temperatures: Water freezes into solid form which expands rapidly when exposed to freezing temperatures causing stress on piping systems that could result in them cracking and eventually breaking.
High water pressure: High water pressure can put added strain on pipes and cause them to burst, leading to their eventual rupture. Improper installation: If pipes haven’t been installed correctly, their likelihood of breaking increases substantially.
A leak can be defined as a small crack, hole or fissure that allows water to flow through the pipe. There are many reasons why pipes can leak, but the most common ones include:
A pipe burst occurs when the area is wide enough to allow water to flow freely. Pipe bursts occur more often during the winter when temperatures drop below freezing or are even lower. Here are a few common reasons why pipes break or burst:
A clogged line can lead to burst pipes and overflowing. Having clogged pipes with corrosive substances like drain cleaner and household chemicals can potentially speed up the damage to your pipes and be harmful when overflowing back into the home. When you believe you have a clogged line it is always best to call a professional to prevent further damage to pipes and the home.
Sometimes clogged pipes are unavoidable but there are ways to help prevent this from happening. Installing hair traps on your bathroom drains and being cautious of what you put down your drain is the best way to prevent this from happening. Flushable wipes and sanitary napkins are also a leading cause of clogged lines and can be very damaging to your main lines.
When appliances are installed a rubber sealant is placed around any connection to keep everything watertight. As aging begins sealing can degrade and break over time causing leakage. If you notice puddles around your appliances or condensation you may have a broken seal.
If you have an older home corrosion may be the cause of your leaking pipes. Aging plumbing systems can develop rust and other forms of corrosion that eat away at your pipes creating openings for water to escape. Having imbalances in pH and mineral content in your water may also cause corrosion in your pipes.
Incorrect Pipe Laying
Plumbing systems require water to flow against gravity and not having pipes laid properly and backflow devices used improperly will lead to leaks. Many leaks that lead to emergencies are caused by incorrect pipe laying so if you have any suspicions about your pipes it is recommended to contact a reputable plumber to assess your system and home.
Damaged Pipe Joints
Joints consist of separate curved pieces attaching to straight pipes on either side and are responsible for redirecting water throughout your home. These joints are one the most vulnerable areas in your pipes and often lead to leaks. Extreme temperatures, excessive water pressure, and chemicals can cause joints to deteriorate.
A tip for knowing if you are having joint issues is when you hear ticking or banging from your pipes (especially when running hot water) it is a good indicator that you are having joint problems.
The growth of tree roots, flooding and even small earthquakes can shift the placement of your pipes. As the ground moves, your pipes can twist, bend, crack or separate altogether – causing underground leaks. If you notice slow draining or problems with your water supply, underground movements (or shifted joinery) could be the issue. To avoid repairs, it is important to hire a plumber to inspect and maintain your underground pipelines.
The most unavoidable cause of leaky or damaged pipes is underground movements. Flooding and the growth of tree roots can damage or shift the placement of your pipes. Tree roots can grow through your pipes and as the ground moves pipes can bend, crack, or even separate causing underground leaks. If you notice ground saturation, slow drainage, or issues with your water supply there is an issue with your underground pipes. It is important to hire an experienced plumber to inspect and maintain your underground lines when these issues begin to occur.
High Water Pressure
Most pipes and faucets can only withstand water pressure up to 60 psi, so even though that high pressure may feel amazing in the shower it could be damaging your pipes. In some instances, high water pressure may lead to pipes bursting in your home. The higher your water pressure the harder it hits the pipes the greater the risk of pipes leaking. If you have noticed a leak or are concerned about your water pressure have a licensed plumber, make any needed repairs and adjustments.
Loose Water Connectors
Due to the shifting and moving of appliances, it is possible for hoses and pipes connected to your appliances to become loose. Moving your refrigerator and causing the ice line to become loose or even the shaking from your washer can spring a leak in your lines. If you notice water forming puddles around your appliances or leaks in the supply line you likely have a loose water connector.
Plumbing fixtures can also become loose or cracked causing leaking. The seals on older fixtures may begin to wear down or physically impact your fixtures causing them to loosen or crack and leak. Also shoving things in the cabinets below sinks can cause damage to the lines and fixtures so be cautious of pipes when putting objects in cabinets with lines in them
8 Warning Signs of a burst pipe
Unfortunately, the damage from a burst pipe is not just limited to obvious damage, there are many hidden effects that cause more damage to your home. Here are some of the different types of damage you may experience from a burst pipe.
Rotted out structural materials. Water seeping through walls, ceilings, and floors can cause wooden supports to rot and steel brackets to rust damaging the integrity of your structure.
Mold. Water seeping into porous materials can lead to mold in your home. Mold can even begin to grow in your air ducts, in your walls, and subfloor making it difficult to detect.
Damaged insulation and wiring. Insulation that is saturated with water can lose effectiveness meaning it will need to be replaced. Wet wiring can cause short circuits that could cause damage to your appliances and lighting or even cause a fire.
Porous materials will need to be removed. Wet carpeting, carpet padding, soaked drywall, and other porous materials will need to be removed from the home to dry structural materials to prevent mold growth.
A pipe burst under your home can cause a slab leak under the foundation or concrete slab under your home. These leaks can flood your home causing damage to your sheetrock, flooring, paint, and structural materials. This will also cause an increase in your water bill even a few dollars difference can indicate something is wrong with your plumbing.
Most homeowners’ insurance policies will often cover accident water damage that occurs from a sudden occurrence like flooding, burst pipes or storm damage. Repair and replacement of flooring, drywall, structural materials, and even furniture can be covered by your insurance.
Pipe bursting repair costs $100 to $200 per foot with most spending between $400 and $1,500 total for pipe repair. Water damage clean-up and repair may add additional costs depending on the amount of damage done to the home. This unfortunately is almost impossible to calculate as every situation and home is different and more underlying damages may be found as repairs and cleanup begin.
It is always recommended to call a professional for replacement and repairs when you have a leaky pipe but here are some tips to help temporarily stop a leaking pipe till a professional can arrive. Also, remember to turn off the water in areas where the leak is before doing any repairs.
Epoxy putty. Make sure you buy the type this is made for pipes and stretch it over the leak and harden it at room temperature. After the epoxy is hardened turn the water back on and check for additional leaks if no leaks are found you have put a temporary fix on the pipes.
Patch and clamp. Find the damaged area and put a patch over it and use clamps to tighten it. Turn the water back on and check for additional leaks.
Pipe Repair Kit with Tape. When applying repair kits make sure you follow directions from the manufacturer on how to properly apply the kit.
Please remember all these fixes are temporary and pipes will still need to be replaced before more damage can be caused.
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