Winters can be harsh in Pennsylvania, temperatures falling well below freezing for days and weeks at a time. Everyone knows that there are many hazardous effects of winter weather, including poor road conditions and high heating bills. When it comes to winter there may be a lurking emergency situation underneath the floors and in the walls of your home: burst pipes.
Want to get a leg up on the winter temperatures? Be sure to schedule routine drain cleaning to remove common blockages from your pipes.
Cause: Why Do Pipes Burst?
While the majority of burst pipe repair is called for during the winter months, there are actually several reasons why pipes may burst.
- Frozen Pipes: When the temperature outside is well below freezing, it is no surprise that the water within pipes (especially along exterior walls) can freeze. Between contracting pipes and the expanding ice, pipes crack and burst.
- Tree Roots: Plants are always seeking sources of water and will grow to great lengths to find it. As roots grow they can disturb the pipes either by breaking joints or shifting the pipes themselves.
- Aged Pipes: Do you own a beautiful turn of the previous century home? Are the pipes as old as the house? If so, they are a ticking time bomb. Older pipes are much more likely to fail, particularly as temperatures change rapidly.
- Clogs: This may be the result of a really serious clog combined with aging pipes, but however it happens, the result of a clog-induced burst pipe will be seriously nasty.
Effect: What Happens to the Home?
One significant problem when frozen pipes have burst is that it is often not discovered right away. This may be particularly true of outdoor plumbing fixtures such as frozen outdoor hose bib. Severe water damage can ruin the interior structure of the home. Leaks into a crawlspace or basement may lead to issues with mold. A burst pipe causes not only a serious mess and water pressure issues within the home it can also result in nasty collateral damage.
Resolution: The Repairs
When it comes to frozen pipes and/or burst pipes there are really only two solutions: thawing and pipe repair. Thawing out a frozen hose bib may be a fairly simple process using hot water, towels, and a hairdryer or heat gun. Pipes will thaw out eventually with the application of heat either manually or simply by the weather warming. If the pipes have already burst, however, the solution is simply a replacement.
Whether it is outside hose bib replacement or frozen pipe repair, this is a situation where it is best to leave the solution to professional plumbers. If a pipe is not properly installed it can lead to a multitude of problems later and further damage to your home.
There may be other pipes that are aging or damaged and plumbing professionals will be able to advise you on the best solutions for your home. Thawing, removing, and replacing pipes can become a complex process of determining the best way to join new pipes to old pipes and weighing the best options to prevent further issues.
Burst pipes can cause damage throughout your plumbing. If your system is old or beyond repair, consider a whole-home repiping instead!
Why Call Us?
With more than 30 years combined experience in the field, the technicians at Foundation Plumbing & Heating are ready to present every homeowner in the York, PA area with the ideal solution to fit their needs. We guarantee our customers will be satisfied with our work. We offer financing and upfront pricing, so we will make sure that there is a way for us to do the repairs and fit your budget. “We do it all in just one call.”