Burst pipes are often the cause of water damage, which can be a hassle to deal with in the winter. If you’ve ever had to deal with burst pipes and the resulting water damage, you know that it’s not just a minor inconvenience—it can be a big headache.
In this article, repiping specialists in Winchester are going to explain what burst pipes are and what necessary steps you can take to stop them from happening in your home.
Do Frozen Pipes Always Burst?
To answer this question, we need to understand what a frozen pipe is.
A frozen pipe is a pipe that has been exposed to low temperatures for an extended period of time. This can happen in a few different ways:
1. The pipes are exposed to frost or snow during winter and cannot thaw out before the temperature rises again (known as “frost heave”).
2. The pipes are exposed to freezing rain during the winter months, which can cause them to freeze even if they don’t get covered in snow (this is known as “ice jam”).
3. The pipes are left outside of your home during the summer months, which causes them to be exposed to high temperatures that lower their internal temperature below freezing (this is known as “freeze-up”).
4. Pipes that are not adequately insulated or wrapped in materials like foam insulation or tar paper will freeze when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius).
So what happens when these pipes freeze? Do frozen pipes always burst? Actually, no—not always! In some cases, it may just be an inconvenience: water might flow slowly out of your faucet or showerhead.
To minimize the risk of frozen pipes bursting, hiring professional repiping specialists who can repair or replace the pipes is essential.
How Long Does It Take for Pipes to Freeze and Burst?
The average pipe freezes and bursts in under 10 minutes when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Are The Causes Of Burst Pipes In Winter?
The coldest months of the year can be a nightmare for homeowners. Not only do you have to put up with sub-zero temperatures, but it’s also when your plumbing system is at its most vulnerable. Burst pipes are a common problem during winter, and it’s not easy to determine what caused the issue.
So what causes burst pipes in winter? We’ve done the research on what causes burst pipes in winter, so you don’t have to! Here are some of the major causes of burst pipes in winter:
The cold weather can cause water to freeze in the pipes and expand, which can cause them to burst. The freezing temperature can also cause the soil around your home to freeze, weakening the ground around your pipes and making them more likely to break.
Lack of insulation
If your home has old or inadequate insulation around the pipes in your walls, basement, or crawlspace, it’s possible for water to freeze and expand in the pipe, causing it to crack and leak.
Exposure to cold air drafts
Pipes located near drafty areas, such as windows, doors, or uninsulated walls, are more susceptible to freezing. Cold air can lower the temperature of the pipes and accelerate the freezing process.
Poorly sealed or cracked pipes
Cracks or leaks in pipes allow cold air to enter and come into contact with the water inside, increasing the likelihood of freezing.
Water pressure buildup
When water freezes and expands inside a pipe, it creates pressure that builds up between the ice blockage and a closed faucet or valve. This pressure can lead to pipe failure and subsequent bursts.
Signs of Burst Pipes
Burst pipes are a common problem in homes and businesses. They can cause water damage that is expensive to clean up, so it’s important to know the signs of burst pipes before they happen.
You notice a water puddle.
This is one of the most common signs that your pipes have burst, but it’s also one of the easiest to miss if you’re not looking for it. If you find yourself wondering why there’s an odd-looking pool on the floor of your bathroom or kitchen, it may be because there’s a leak in the pipe underneath it!
You hear gurgling sounds coming from your toilet or sink.
This is another one of those things that we often miss when we don’t know what to listen for—but if you start hearing strange sounds coming from these places, there’s a good chance that they’re coming from somewhere else entirely! That “gurgle” is air being sucked into the drain because water has been leaking somewhere else in your plumbing system.
If you see water pouring out of your sink or toilet, chances are there’s a burst pipe somewhere in your house. This is one of the most obvious signs and the reason for learning how to prevent burst pipes in cold weather, but it can be challenging to find out the source of the leak if you don’t know where to look.
Decreased water pressure.
Another sign to watch out for is decreased water pressure. If there’s no pressure in your shower or bathtub suddenly, that could mean there’s a burst pipe somewhere nearby.
Listen for strange cracking or popping sounds coming from pipes inside your walls or ceilings. These sounds could indicate that there’s been some damage done due to bursting pipes—and it doesn’t always happen silently!
Mold or mildew growth.
If you see mold or mildew growing on surfaces in your home, it’s possible that your pipes have burst and are leaking into the surrounding environment.
Water discoloration or odor
If your water begins to smell or change color, it could be a sign of burst pipes. Your water may look brown, black, orange, or even pink. It can also have an odor similar to rotten eggs.
How To Prevent Burst Pipes In Winter?
Everyone knows that winter is the time when your pipes are at their most vulnerable. The cold temperatures, snow, and ice can cause them to burst.
If you’re not careful, winter can wreak havoc on your plumbing fixtures and pipes, causing leaks or burst pipes that can lead to costly repairs.
That’s why Casco Plumbing And Well Pump Service is here to help you keep your pipes happy during the cold months. We’ll show you how to prevent burst pipes in winter so you can have a cozy home this winter and beyond!
Insulate exposed pipes.
You know those pipes that are exposed near the ground? Yeah, those ones that are always freezing and bursting when the temperature drops below zero? That’s because you haven’t insulated them yet! Get some insulation tape and wrap those suckers up tight so they don’t freeze during the cold months of winter.
Seal gaps and cracks.
Sometimes your home will have gaps or cracks in its walls or windows that allow cold air in—and that’s bad news for your pipes! Check every inch of your home for gaps and cracks and seal them up well with caulk or other products designed to keep out cold air.
Disconnect outdoor hoses and faucets.
By disconnecting your outdoor hoses, you can prevent running water from freezing in the lines and bursting the pipe. If possible, keep them covered with a tarp or cover them with insulation.
Keep the interior temperature consistent.
This is especially important if you use baseboard heaters or radiators, as they can cause water lines to freeze if they are too cold or too hot. If possible, adjust the thermostat so that it stays at a consistent temperature (ideally about 65 degrees Fahrenheit).
Open cabinet doors.
The best way to know how to prevent burst pipes in winter is to open cabinet doors in your home. Cabinet doors help keep heat in the house, which means less water will freeze in your pipes.
Let faucets drip.
Another great way to learn how to prevent burst pipes during the winter is by letting faucets drip slowly when they’re not being used. This will help keep the water flowing through your pipes and prevent ice buildup that could lead to leaks or bursts later down the road!
Be cautious with thermostat settings.
Don’t make your home too cold! You want to ensure your pipes stay above freezing while carrying away hot water from your radiators and heating system. But if the temperature gets too low, frozen water can freeze inside of them—and when that happens, they can burst.
Install a smart thermostat or temperature monitoring system.
This way, you’ll always know exactly what the temperature is in your home—and if it’s getting dangerously cold, you can turn up the heat before anything bad happens!
Have your heating system inspected.
Another step towards preventing any burst pipe is knowing where those pipes are located and ensuring everything is functioning properly. If you suspect there’s something wrong with your heating system, contact a repiping specialist for an inspection.
Educate household members.
This might seem like a no-brainer—but if you live with roommates or family members who don’t know how to prevent burst pipes, it can be very easy for them to forget or ignore some of the important precautions that need to be taken during the winter (and beyond). By educating everyone living under one roof about what needs to be done when temperatures drop below freezing, everyone will be better equipped to avoid disaster!
Need to Replace Old Pipes? Call Casco Plumbing And Well Pump Service in Winchester!
If you’re tired of having to worry about the pipes in winter, it may be time to replace them!
Call Casco Plumbing And Well Pump Service today for all your plumbing needs! We’ve been serving our community for many years now and know what it takes to ensure your new pipes last.
We offer a full range of services, from repair work to full replacements, and we are strongly committed to delivering you with the best possible service at an affordable price. We have a highly-trained staff who are ready to tackle any job, big or small.
Whether you need a simple repair or a complete overhaul of your plumbing system, our team will be there for you. We have the expertise and industry experience necessary to make sure that your plumbing requirements are met, regardless of their complexity. Our plumbing services include:
- Repiping the whole house
- Pipe repair/replacement services
- Pump repair/replacement services
- Sump pump installation services
- Water leak detection and repair services
- Renovation and remodel work (including toilets, sinks, tubs/showers)
- Well-pump installation and repair services
- 24*7 emergency plumbing services
- Annual plumbing service agreements
- Trenchless pipe lining services
- Sewer line repair/replacement services
Our skilled and licensed plumbers in Winchester, VA, are well-experienced in working with all kinds of plumbing issues, and we have a special knack for getting things done quickly and providing the best Winchester Repiping Solutions. With our skills and expertise, you never have to stress about being without hot water or clean running water again!
Don’t waste another minute worrying about what could happen if your pipes burst—call us today at (540) 773-8076!