Across the United States, homeowners often grapple with the question of what to do when a burst pipe wreaks havoc in their homes. Although it’s a relatively rare occurrence, it’s vital to know how to respond when a pipe bursts in your home. Unprepared homeowners may face water damage to their floors, walls, and valuable possessions. However, this guide is here to help homeowners when their pipes burst, detailing the causes, signs, and appropriate responses.
Burst Pipe Causes Several factors can lead to a pipe bursting. While it’s not an overnight occurrence, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your plumbing system throughout the year. Here are some of the most common causes of pipe bursts:
- Corrosion: Corrosion, caused by imbalances in the water’s pH or rust, can weaken pipes over time, leading to leaks and bursts.
- Freezing: In areas with harsh winters, pipes can freeze when temperatures fall below 32 degrees, causing the pipes to weaken and potentially shatter.
- Movement: Pipes can shift due to cold temperatures, repairs to other parts of the plumbing, or high water pressure, leading to increased water pressure in a certain area and potentially causing a burst.
- Clogs: Clogs deep in the pipe can cause water pressure to build up around the clog, leading to leaks and potentially a burst pipe.
Signs of a Burst Pipe While large puddles of water in the home are a clear sign of a burst pipe, there are other, less obvious signs to look out for. These include:
- Water pressure problems
- Wall stains
- Discolored water
- High water bill
- Water smells
- Water sounds
- Pipe noises
What to Do About a Burst Pipe While professional repairs are necessary for a burst pipe, there are steps homeowners can take to minimize water damage. These include:
- Turning off the main water supply
- Calling a plumber
- Cleaning up the water
- Draining faucets
- Letting in warm air
- Keeping doors open
- Using a repair sleeve or a piece of rubber, wood, and a clamp for a temporary fix
In conclusion, homeowners have more control over pipe bursts than they might think. By implementing these simple tricks, you can keep water damage to a minimum until a professional plumber can address the issue.