What causes pipes to burst? Experiencing the sudden and alarming issue of a burst pipe is an all-too-common reality for many homeowners and commercial property owners. Imagine a quiet evening at home, suddenly interrupted by the sound of gushing water as a pipe gives way. Or an important team meeting that is delayed due to the office turning into a shallow swimming pool overnight. A place of comfort and reliability can quickly transform into a distressing and expensive ordeal.
Burst pipes can wreak havoc, causing extensive water damage, structural harm, and even promoting mould growth. As a property owner, it is vital to understand why pipes burst and implement preventive measures to avert such disasters.
Understanding the reasons for burst pipes
Grasping the reasons for these unexpected emergencies is the first step in prevention. By identifying these factors, you can take effective actions to minimise the risk and the subsequent damage that can follow.
Several common causes lead to pipes bursting:
Freezing temperatures: When the mercury dips, water in pipes can freeze, creating ice that blocks and increases pressure within the pipe, eventually leading to a burst.
The age and condition of the pipes: Pipes, particularly older ones made of materials like galvanized iron or steel, can decay over time, weakening and becoming more prone to bursting.
Clogged up pipes: A build up of debris or mineral deposits can clog pipes, increasing water pressure and leading to bursts.
High water pressure: Excessive pressure can strain pipes, potentially causing them to burst. Installing a pressure-reducing valve can help maintain safer levels.
Pipes installed poorly or not correctly maintained: Incorrectly installed or poorly maintained pipes are more susceptible to bursting. Ensuring proper installation and regular maintenance is crucial.
Ground movement: Shifts in the earth, whether from subsidence, erosion, or settling, can stress pipes and cause them to burst.
Immediate steps to take
When facing burst pipes, prompt action is essential to limit damage and restore your home’s functionality. Here’s what you need to do:
Water supply should be shut: Quickly turn off the main water valve to prevent further damage.
Shut off electrical power: To avoid electrocution risks, turn off electricity in areas affected by the water.
Remove any standing water: Clear out as much water as possible to avert mold growth.
Contact a Plumber: Have a professional evaluate and fix the damaged pipes.
Handling a large escape of water can be daunting, but with swift and proper actions, damage can be minimised and restoration facilitated in the most efficient manner.
Preventing burst pipes
Now that the causes are clear, here are some preventative steps:
Pipe insulation: This guards against extreme temperatures, a common cause of pipe bursts.
Seal the air gaps: Stop cold air from reaching pipes by sealing gaps in your home.
Keep the tap dripping: Let taps drip in freezing conditions to prevent pipes from freezing.
Water pressure: Install a pressure regulator to avoid undue strain on pipes.
Water shut off in vacant properties: For properties not in use, draining and shutting off the water supply reduces the risk of freezing.
Introduce warm air: During cold spells, warm the area around the pipes to prevent freezing.
Case study: Burst pipe insurance claim expertly
handled by Aspray
In cases where water damage from burst pipes becomes overwhelming, and you may need to make an insurance claim due to the extent of the damage, professional assistance is invaluable. Aspray, with 18+ years’ experience in handling such situations, can offer crucial support. Our team is equipped to deal with all aspects of water damage restoration, ensuring a swift and effective return to normality – pre burst pipe!
Get the experts in!
Finding water dripping through your house, destroying your home, is devastating. For this homeowner it was too much, he didn’t know where to start. Thankfully he called Aspray. Our Sheffield North assessor, Steve, took care of the entire claim. Not only reinstating the property but also looking after the policyholder’s contents. Getting the property back in its pre-loss condition was a “wow moment” for the homeowner. And you can be sure it’s always a wow moment for us too.
Burst pipe at your property? Get expert help: