Pipes are everywhere in a home, from kitchen sinks to bathroom showers. Even though homeowners rely on them, it can be challenging to understand how they can fail. If you have ever had a pipe burst in your home, you know how frustrating the aftermath can be. Not only is there an unpleasant site and mess of water damage, but the excess water can ruin your irreplaceable belongings.

There are several ways your pipes can burst. Here are eight of the most common causes:

1. Improper Installation

Damage to pipes can occur for several reasons, but improper installation is one of the most common. Bursting often happens when pipes are not installed according to code or when they are not properly maintained. If there are cracks or gaps along the piping system, water may seep through, causing the pipes to rust and wear out. Cracks in the pipes can also cause them to rupture. In order for your plumbing to last as expected, a professional plumber should install all piping systems based on current standards. There are a few different kinds of pipe materials, and a licensed professional can help you decide which is most appropriate for your home before installation begins.

2. Freezing

A burst pipe is unpleasant and a huge hassle, but it might also indicate possible frozen water pipes that could result in intense, costly damage to the rest of your home. Water expands when it freezes within your plumbing system. This process causes pressure buildup exerted on the inside walls of your pipes. The water expansion and increased pressure may cause a pipe to burst. To prevent freezing, insulate all piping systems in your attic or crawl space. In addition, consider insulating certain sections of your home’s exterior, such as doors and windows, which may allow drafts to come into the house and lower the temperature.

3. Clogs

Clogs may lead to the increased water pressure inside your pipes, causing them to burst. Generally speaking, a clog blocks water from flowing freely through your plumbing system. The water pressure builds up until your pipes cannot handle it anymore. A pipe clog can happen in any part of the home. In many cases, a drain becomes clogged with hair or soap scum. Other times, a pipe blockage could occur from tree roots growing into the plumbing. Slow sink drains are one of the main signs you want to look out for to know whether your pipes are clogged. Clogs can develop slowly over time and cause no problems in the beginning. If your plumbing seems sluggish or your pipes have previously burst from clogging, consider hiring an expert to inspect them for damage and begin repairs or replacements. Take immediate action when you think that your pipes may be clogged so that you can prevent home damage.

4. Tree Roots

If a tree grows very close to your house, you may be at risk for severe plumbing problems. A tree root in the ground near your plumbing can squeeze the pipes, which may result in water pressure buildup and bursting. Some trees grow large and complicated root systems, finding ways into the smallest cracks in your plumbing. They can also puncture holes in the pipes, causing them to burst. To prevent damage from tree roots, you should have the trees and shrubbery surrounding your home inspected frequently by a professional or hire a landscaper who can help keep trees away from your home’s foundation.

5. Hard Water

Hard water refers to water with a high concentration of minerals, most notably calcium and magnesium. These minerals can build up in pipes over time and cause them to become clogged or blocked. When this happens, water pressure increases to the extent that it can cause pipes to burst. In extreme cases, this can lead to flooding and property damage. The buildup of these minerals can also slowly break down the metal inside your pipes, causing them to leak or break. These situations usually occur when using water from an untreated source. If you notice that your pipes are starting to leak, it is important to call a professional immediately to determine if hard water might be the cause.

6. Corrosion

Corrosion occurs when the metals inside a pipe become weak or brittle, causing them to break down. Pipes can corrode over time if they are not appropriately maintained. The longer you neglect your pipes, the more likely it is that corrosion will compromise your plumbing system. Corrosion happens in several ways. The process can occur from exposure to the elements, such as in an outdoor faucet or across the bottom of a shower head. If your plumbing system is not well protected, your pipes can corrode due to building moisture or condensation.

7. Age

Pipes that are a couple of decades old often develop problems as they age. They can easily wear out or become punctured, causing leaks and water damage in your home. Some pipes in older homes may also consist of iron or steel, which can rust over time. Rust weakens the pipes, causing them to develop leaks. If you notice that your older home is constantly leaking and you think your water pipes could be causing the problem, it is essential to contact a professional plumber immediately to maintain the integrity of your home and prevent expensive damage.

8. High Pressure

High pressure can cause your pipes to burst. When your pipes are under excessive pressure, they tend to expand, which can cause leaks and water damage. High pressure could come from a malfunctioning home backup system or extreme temperature changes. If you notice increased leaking and think that high pressure might be the cause, have an expert inspect your system to ensure water is being distributed through your pipes properly. They will recommend the appropriate repairs to keep your home running efficiently.

Final Thoughts

Water pipes are essential for a well-functioning home. They need to be consistently maintained and repaired to avoid the risk of bursting. Contact a professional plumber if you are experiencing any of the problems above or have any questions or concerns regarding your pipes or plumbing system. With proper maintenance, your pipes will last for years, and your home will remain in good condition.

Call the Professionals

When your pipes burst, have them fixed as soon as possible to prevent stressful and expensive damage to your home. If you are a resident of Plainfield or the surrounding communities and notice that your pipes are leaking, we want to hear from you. Our professional plumbers will arrive at the scene with the proper tools to fix your lines and prevent further damage at a time when we can help the most.

In addition to plumbing services, our experienced team also offers HVAC installations and repairs, water heater services, drain cleaning, gas line repair, and sump pump services. To schedule a service call, contact us at TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today!

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