Has your water bill recently skyrocketed? Do you suspect that you have a burst pipe somewhere in your home? You may not realize that you have a problem until it’s become a major issue. Experts estimate that the average cost of a broken pipe is more than $5,000–but it could be even more.
If you are dealing with a plumbing emergency, this article is for you. We’ll cover common causes of burst pipes and help you connect with a local plumbing contractor.
Common Causes of Burst Pipes
You might be surprised to find that the most common cause of broken pipes is the trees in your yard. Roots from trees or shrubs grow toward the nearest water source, wrapping around pipes and breaking them.
If you’ve got a mysterious water leak in your basement or garage, the culprit could be your landscaping. Another common cause of broken pipes is age: houses that are more than 40 years old are more likely to have corrosion in their pipes.
Since most home inspections don’t cover the pipes connecting your home to the city’s sewer system, you could have a backup in your sewer pipes that eventually bursts. Another reason for burst pipes is that homes in warmer climates often have water and sewer pipes on the outside, exposed to bad weather.
The good news is that new trenchless sewer repair technology can put your broken system back together. Plumbers can see your sewer system or water system with a flexible camera on a wire. They can then make repairs without having to dig up your entire yard.
The third most common reason for burst pipes is collapse due to weather conditions. If you live in an area that experiences flooding, you could be facing a broken plumbing system. Even if you live in a warm region of the country, nighttime temperatures can plummet below 30 degrees. This will freeze and thaw your pipes until they break open.
What to Do If You Have a Broken Pipe
If you notice that you’ve got a water leak, you should immediately do two things: turn off your main water line and put in an emergency call to a plumber. A plumbing pro with experience managing a broken pipe in Phoenix can help you by cleaning out your drains and removing any debris or broken pieces.
After you schedule your appointment with the plumber, you should open the valves in your sinks. Start with the cold water side and drain the taps. You should also flush your toilets at least five times each, or until there isn’t any more water coming into the tank.
The reason for draining your taps is to release the pressure that’s built up in your plumbing system. If the broken pipe is due to freezing temperatures, releasing the cold water will help you avoid further damage.
Once the cold water taps are drained, turn off your boiler and drain the hot water taps. This may take a while, but it’s an important step. You don’t want to have further explosions from pent-up pressure in your pipes.
If you can, take a picture of the water damage before you mop it up. You’ll need something to show your insurance company later.
The last step to take before your plumber gets there is to open up all of your cabinets and let your pipes warm up. It may not make that much of a difference, but at least you’re circulating warm air. Ask your plumber about how to avoid similar incidents in the future: they may recommend heating sleeves for your pipes.
How to Clean up After a Burst Pipe
If you’ve ever had a sewer pipe or water pipe burst, you know how much damage it can cause. You should make sure to prioritize your own safety. If you think that the water has damaged the electrical systems in your home, don’t turn on any appliances and shut off the main power before you start to clean.
Take your time and make sure that you document all of the damage. You should contact your insurance company right after you call the plumber. If you can, take some video as well as picture evidence.
Start by clearing out any rugs or floor coverings. If your kitchen tiles are ruined, you might want to wait for a contractor to clear them out because they can be sharp when they break. Make sure that pets and kids aren’t running or walking on damaged floors: you don’t want to add injury to your list of concerns.
Next, use a shop vac to remove the water that remains on the floor. If you don’t have a shop vac handy, you can use old towels or mops. You might be surprised at how much water you have to deal with. You might want to rent a professional shop vacuum cleaner instead of doing it by hand.
You can also use dehumidifiers to clear out your water damage, but after a certain point, you should probably just get a contractor. They can check for mold and help you fix any lingering problems with moisture.
How to Find a Reputable Contractor
You should always go with a plumber with a positive rating on the Better Business Bureau. It’s a quick check, and it can save you time and money in the long run. Make sure the company is licensed, bonded, and insured.
Also, look for a plumbing contractor that is screened and approved through HomeAdvisor. They are a neutral, “third party” website that allows clients to post reviews. If they’ve got good reviews on HomeAdvisor, you know that they’re genuine.
If you have an emergency plumbing or water damage problem, make sure you tell the contractor when you call them. They should be able to answer your call at any time of day or night. Mold can start to grow in the wake of a broken pipe, so look for companies with a reputation for being prompt.
We offer regular maintenance services and emergency plumbing services to the greater Phoenix and Scottsdale area. Please give us a call with any problems or projects that you might have!
Read Related Articles: