Main Causes of Burst Pipes and How to Prevent Them

06 October 2015

Burst pipes are not just a residential home problem that families have to deal with, commercial and industrial properties also experience pipes bursting. It does happen, and when pipes burst its no picnic problem as water damage can run into thousands of dollars replacing flooring, walls, electrical wiring and furnishings. Not to mention that mould and mildew almost always follow water damage, especially if water is not cleaned up promptly and properly.

Because a burst pipe has the potential to cause a ‘big’ mess, understanding the main causes of burst pipes and how to prevent them is paramount, especially if your insurance policy doesn’t cover water damaged caused by internal plumbing. The information below should help.

Preventing the Main Causes of Burst Pipes

Pressurised water systems are everywhere, in almost every home, business and in public buildings. When a pipe bursts and water runs freely everywhere, chaos follows and then you get the headache of figuring out where to start to clean the whole mess up. Yes, it can be extremely expensive to fix water damage, but it makes perfect sense to take measures to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. So, what causes a pipe to burst?

Age – Even though residential and commercial pipes are metal, metal does age and under great pressure pipes can burst, especially if they have begun to rust.

Preventive measures: Have a plumbing company inspect your plumbing system, especially if you have an older home or business. A plumber will know if your pipes need to be replaced, it may cost a pretty penny, but it is money well spent to prevent water damage.

Damage and Improperly Installed Plumbing – Damaged pipes that are not replaced are the weak link in any water system, you can bet that will be the first place water leakage will come from. Improperly installed plumbing is another reason a pipe can burst, especially if the diameter of the pipe is not meant to handle the water pressure in the building.

Preventive measures: A home inspection of your plumbing system will also reveal if you have plumbing that is not properly gauged for your home’s or business’s water pressure. Also, if you are aware that there is a damaged pipe inside or outside then replacing it promptly is advised.

Severe Temperature Changes – In areas where hot and cold water are common such as in hot water heating systems, or in climates where the outside temperature freezes water, pipes can burst.

Preventive measures: The fluctuation of temperatures can weaken pipes; ensure pipes that lead away from water heaters and outside pipes around your home are properly insulated.

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