Burst or frozen pipes are the last things anyone wants to deal with. Not everyone knows how to handle plumbing emergencies. The aftermath can be costly and might cause structural damage to your home. That’s why most homeowners take all necessary measures to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Proper maintenance can help you prevent bursting, while some insulation tactics ensure you won’t deal with frozen pipes.

Most people associate freezing pipes with bursting. But have you ever wondered why pipes burst where there is no or very little ice? That’s because freezing isn’t what necessarily causes pipes to burst. The water pressure inside the pipe will force them to burst eventually. Read on if you want to learn more about frozen and burst pipes.

The Difference Between Frozen & Burst Pipes

Frozen pipes happen when outside temperatures drop, usually to 20 degrees or below. You will notice ice forming around the pipes if they need to be insulated. On the other hand, burst pipes can occur for many reasons. The most common cause for metal pipes to burst is rust. However, frozen pipes can cause them to burst by increasing pressure, which forces the pipes to expand and sometimes burst.

The expansion of ice on the pipe walls automatically increases water pressure inside. Between the closed faucet and the ice blockage, the pipes will inevitably fail. The pressure will be too much for the metal or any other material to handle. You can associate frozen and burst pipes to some extent. But not every time you see a burst pipe, it’s because of ice. Sometimes pipe failure happens when the temperature and pressure are normal.

Common causes of burst pipes include blockages, tree roots, wear and tear, and poor workmanship. You need a professional plumber for regular maintenance. They might be able to spot some of these issues before it’s too late.

How To Handle Frozen Pipes

A frozen pipe can become a disaster if you don’t fix it immediately. The best thing to do is protect and insulate all pipework before winter. But if it’s too late and ice is already forming on the pipe, there are precautions to take. Before you call a professional to come and inspect the situation, here are some things you can do.

  • Look for the stop valve and turn it off. This will ease the pressure in the pipe and prevent bursting.
  • When you suspect a frozen pipe, turn on the faucet to allow a little trickle to come out. Leaving the faucet on for a while might help thaw the frozen parts.
  • Apply some heat to the affected areas. You can use a hair dryer, a warm towel, or hot water. Do not use a naked flame. Start applying heat from the faucet as you work your way down.

These measures will keep the pipes running for a while as you wait for your plumber. If you notice the pipe leaking anywhere, take your time; find help immediately. In case it bursts and causes water damage, only a professional can easily restore your property.

Preventing Burst Pipes

Burst pipes are any property owner’s worst nightmare. It can cause water damage, mold, or mildew issues. It’s also possible to experience structural damage that can make you lose the property. That’s why prevention is always better. There is only one thing to do when you want to avoid experiencing burst pipes. Get a plumbing company and schedule regular preventative maintenance.

A licensed plumber knows where to inspect. They will evaluate the condition of the pipes and recommend any upgrades. If the pipes are degraded, installing new ones is a must. It might be costly, but you would have prevented future issues. Also, if they detect water leaks, they can fix the issue before it escalates. This will prevent you from losing money and reduce the damage. The professional will tell you how often you need an inspection.

You should also ensure the water pressure in the home is right. You can do it by simply observing. If the water from the faucet seems to be at high pressure, you probably need to reduce it. You will rest easy when you have done your best to prevent pipes from bursting. Working with a professional has its perks. They will give you valuable insight and tips on handling the entire plumbing system.

Final Thoughts

Frozen and burst pipes can cause irreversible water damage in the home. Restoration might take a while, and sometimes you may have to let go of the property if it’s not fixable. Maintenance should be part of your plumbing plan. Before moving into a new place, ensure you inspect the condition of the pipes. Always remember to protect outdoor pipes during the winter. Learn a few plumbing tips on how to handle a disaster. But it’s wise to know the problems that need professional intervention.

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