Top 5 Causes of Pipe Bursting and How to Prevent Them

If you are a homeowner, you know that pipe bursts can devastate your home and wallet. They can cause extensive water damage, as well as structural damage.

Most pipe bursts are preventable with some knowledge and simple precautions. Please keep reading to learn more about the top 5 causes of pipe bursting and how to prevent them from happening in your home.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes can lead to significant water damage and even a home flood. They can also cause sewage backups and mold growth, which can be costly.

In addition to keeping your home at a consistent temperature and using thermostats properly, insulation is another crucial step toward preventing pipes from freezing. Insulation can be found at any hardware store and is a cheap way to protect your pipes from the cold.

Pipes are most vulnerable in areas with little heat, such as basements and attics. This can be caused by insufficient insulation or cracks that allow the cold air inside.

Old Pipes

When a home has been used for a long time, its plumbing system can have severe problems. Some may be relatively minor, but others can be ticking time bombs that will cost homeowners a lot of money to fix.

Whether metal or plastic, old pipes aren’t designed to last forever, they develop small cracks as they age, making them more susceptible to pipe bursting.

Cast iron pipes are especially prone to failure. This is because they’re a soft material, and they break easily under pressure. They also deteriorate due to ground shifts and tree roots entering them through tiny gaps.

Tree Roots

Tree roots are the living parts of a tree that anchor it to the ground, transport water and minerals, and store food reserves. Roots also help stabilize the soil and prevent erosion.

Trees typically have a combination of large perennial roots and more negligible, short-lived feeder roots. Both are essential to the tree’s health and vitality.

The more extensive woody roots live for many years, and they help anchor the tree and provide a water and mineral transport system. The smaller, ephemeral feeder roots, which comprise most of the tree’s root system, are much less thick and absorb surface water and nutrients for transport to the more extensive roots.

Some tree species, such as black and scarlet oaks, red maple, magnolia, dogwood, and river birch, are more sensitive to root damage than others.

Poor Insulation

If your home is adequately insulated, it can be easier for your heating system to keep the temperature in your home consistent. This will cause a lot of heating energy to be wasted and will result in higher bills for you, especially during the colder winter months.

Poor insulation is also a leading cause of pipe bursts. This is because the temperature inside the pipes can fall below freezing and freeze water within them.

The frozen water can then expand, causing the pipe to burst and crack. This can lead to severe damage and costly repairs to your home.

Ground Movements

Water pipes can burst when ground movements occur near them. These shifts often happen during construction or after heavy rains, and they can cause extreme pressure to develop inside your pipe system.

Aside from freezing weather, clogging is another common reason for pipes to burst. If you have a clog in your line, you can expect to hear a rattling sound when it starts to break.

In this case, you’ll want to call your emergency plumber right away so they can isolate the burst pipe and take care of it. Otherwise, you could face property damage and, even worse – personal injury.