Three Common Causes of Burst Pipes: Prevention and Action

Burst pipes can be a nightmare for any homeowner as they can cause a lot of damage. Water can cause thousands of dollars of damage, even potentially affecting the structural integrity of your home. Understanding why pipes sometimes burst and what action you should take if they do could save you a lot of stress, time and money. This is why it's a good idea to learn how to take preventative action and understand what to do in the event of a burst pipe emergency.

1. Too Much Water Pressure
One of the most common causes of a broken pipe is the effect of too much water pressure. A faulty water pump or a blocked toilet can cause the water pressure in your pipes to build up until it becomes too high. The pipes expand and eventually crack under the pressure - and you might not get much warning before this happens. The best way of avoiding this scenario is to treat any plumbing problem promptly and to regularly carry out routine household maintenance, such as checking the water pump.

If your pipes have burst, you need to act quickly. Gather plenty of old towels and buckets to try and minimize the damage by collecting as much of the dripping water as you can. Meanwhile, contact an emergency plumber or burst pipe repair services without delay.

2. Tree Roots
This may surprise you but tree roots can wrap around pipes and cause them to crack over time. Roots are attracted to water and will quickly grow around a loose connection point. One reason why it is never a good idea to plant trees too close to your house.

3. The Effects of Freezing Weather
If you live in a part of the country with cold winters, you will probably be aware of the risks cold weather can cause to pipework, especially to old or unprotected pipes. Sections of pipe exposed to icy temperatures will freeze. Frozen water inside the pipes causes them to expand, while water can still be flowing freely elsewhere in the system. This causes pressure to build up again, cracking the pipe.

When the temperature drops to below freezing, it is vital that you take the appropriate steps to protect your pipes. A common time for pipes to burst due to freezing is during the festive season when people visit family and friends. They forget to winterize their pipes, thus risking an emergency situation on their return and the need to contact broken pipe repair services.

Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of this happening. If you are planning to leave your house vacant during cold weather you need to:

  • Check all visible pipework for rust and signs of leakage before you leave. If you notice any signs of damage, contact your local broken pipe repair services for advice.
  • Clear leaves and other debris from your gutters or roof shingles.
  • Insulate exposed pipework - you can buy inexpensive foam rubber from your local hardware store.
  • Make sure all drain valves and faucets are left open.
  • Turn off the water pump at the main.
  • Drain your hot water tank so there is no water remaining left to freeze. Don't forget to flush all the toilets after you have done this.
  • Leave the heating turned on in your absence.
  • Leave cupboard doors containing pipework open to allow the air to circulate.

Following these tips will hopefully help you to avoid water damage to your home. If you have a burst pipe, click the link to your nearest emergency plumber below and ask for immediate assistance from burst pipe repair services.

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