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Tag Archives: Burst Pipe

burst pipe water damage

What Cause A Pipe To Burst?

Burst pipes are every homeowner’s nightmare. Not only can they result in water damage, but they could ruin your home’s overall structure if not fixed in time. Below you’ll learn more about what causes this issue and a few ways you can prevent it.

What Causes a Burst Pipe?

Extreme Temperatures: One of the most common culprits of burst pipes is fluctuating temperatures. When hot or freezing temperatures surround them, they will expand or contract. This can stress them leading to small punctures that could eventually burst.

Connected Hoses: Sometimes, if you leave your hoses connected to an outdoor valve for a long time, the water stored inside could back up into pipes creating high pressure. If this is done during the winter, the left-behind water could freeze and cause the pipes to expand and eventually crack.

High Water Pressure: If your pipes are carrying high water pressure it can stress them. Ideally, the pressure should be anywhere from 40-60 PSI. If it’s too high, it will overwhelm the pipes causing them to crack and explode. Most of the time, high water pressure is the result of thermal expansion. As your home adjusts with the exterior temperature, the pipes do as well which could cause them to overreact.

Age: Another aspect that could result in a burst pipe is age. Depending on your home, your pipe might be anywhere from 2-40 years old. The older your pipes are, the more likely they’ve gone under stress and are wearing out. This could result in piece corroding which could cause the entire thing to burst.

3 Ways to Prevent Burst Pipes

Use Heat Tape: If you notice your pipes tend to freeze easily, heat tape is good to invest in. This product generates heat which stops the water from freezing. While it might sound dangerous, heat tape is safe and designed to only reach certain temperatures so it’s not a major fire hazard.

Monitor the Water Pressure: You might also want to watch your home’s water pressure. You can place a pressure gauge on a faucet for a reading. If it’s above 60 PSI, you’ll want to adjust the water regulator. Once you do, test it again. If you don’t see a difference, it’s important to contact an expert.

Replace Them: If your pipes are decades old it might be worthwhile to replace them. While this could be pricey at first, in the long run, it will avert future damage.

If you want to prevent burst pipes, keep this information in mind. For those concerned about their pipes bursting or fear it has already happened, contact RCS in Santa Rosa. Our team will quickly examine the area and get to work repairing any issues that might be of concern.

beach summer

Can Pipes Burst During Warm Months?

During the warmer months of the year, many don’t often think about their pipes. However, this is a huge mistake. This post will explain why and how you can keep them in good condition during hot weather.

Can Pipes Burst During the Spring and Summer?

Yes, pipes can burst during these seasons. Any time they come into contact with an extreme temperature, they’ll become overwhelmed. This can create pressure in the tubes which can lead to leaks and eventually cause them to explode. During these seasons, water is also in high demand. The constant use can tire the pipes which could start to wear them down.

How to Protect Pipes

To guard your pipes you can use these tips.

Do Regular Inspections: While you don’t need to constantly watch them, doing weekly checks can be useful. This can help you quickly identify potential problems and stop them from growing.

Some things to look for include:

  • Wet spots
  • Cracks
  • Mold splotches

If you notice any of these signs, there’s probably an issue. You’ll want to contact a professional to fix it before it spreads.

Insulate Them: You’ll also want to check that the pipes are properly insulated. This helps keep them at a consistent temperature so that they aren’t overwhelmed by major fluctuations.

There are plenty of ways you can insulate pipes. One is to wrap them with pipe wrap. This tape will create a strong barrier around the pipe which can also help with plugging leaks.

You could also slide foam sleeves over them. This not only protects your pipes but nearby appliances that might otherwise have moisture drip into them.

Monitor the Water Pressure: Observing the water pressure will ensure that the pipes aren’t broken. If there’s low water pressure, this usually points to a clog or leak. On the other hand, high water pressure is a sign of stressed pipes.

You’ll want to make sure that the pressure stays around 50-60 PSI. You can invest in a water pressure monitor to put under the liquid so it can calculate this number. Many times, it can also connect to your phone so you can get instant results and alerts.

Most people focus on protecting their pipes during the winter, but they also need to be safeguarded during the spring and summer. If you’re concerned about your home’s pipes or just want to make sure they’re in good condition, give RCS a call in Santa Rosa. We can inspect your living space to ensure that there aren’t signs of hidden damage.

frozen pipe sonoma county

Preventing A Frozen Pipe Disaster

We are in the middle of the winter season, where the weather can be unpredictable and in certain areas of Sonoma County it can get rather chilly. Many residential floods in the winter are caused by frozen pipes that burst; this happens because water expands as it freezes, putting pressure on pipes, and no matter how strong your pipes are, they will burst if care isn’t taken during the winter months.

According the The Red Cross, pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

Even if none of these factors pertain to you and your home, you are not necessarily immune to frozen pipes.

The following are precautions you can take in order to prevent a disaster:

Start with simply insulating and keeping your home warm, especially areas in which your pipes reside. If you have a crawlspace, attic, or basement, ensure that these areas of your home are properly insulated, which will not only help prevent frozen pipes but also help reduce your energy bill.

Never turn your heat off. Regardless if you are home or not, keep the temperature at least 55 degrees. And Consumer Reports does not recommend turning the heat down overnight to save a few bucks.

Everyone has heard of this one: Keep your faucet dripping, especially overnight and especially if the source from the pipe is exposed to the elements.

If you have a specific room that is prone to frozen pipes or you are concerned, keep a space heater on in that area while you are home.

Doors make a difference. Opening cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around your kitchen and bathroom pipes and keeping doors closed to drafty areas, such as the garage, can make a world of difference.

Drain excess water. Home Depot recommends disconnecting hoses and draining water from those pipes that are accessed outdoors.

In the next article, we will discuss what to do when you have located a frozen pipe and how to unfreeze it yourself without calling in the professionals.

Unfortunately, we cannot always prevent every frozen or leaky pipe; if you happen to be in the middle of a winter-weather home disaster, don’t worry—Restoration Certified Specialists, Inc. will take care of you! They have been proudly serving the Santa Rosa and North Bay areas since 1975.

Moisture Barrier Santa Rosa

Benefits of Having a Moisture Barrier under Your Home

If you have a pier-and-beam foundation, you’re among the lucky few to have a higher quality home foundation. Most are made out of concrete slab. A pier-and-beam home offers better protection against shifting soil. Underneath the house, there will be a small crawlspace that gives you direct access to utilities like plumbing. It will have a dirt floor that allows the soil to shift. Concrete slab homes are large and solid. Like a boat, the entire house can shift when the soil shifts. This can create foundational problems every couple of years. You don’t have that. However, you have a disparate issue to deal with – vapor that comes up from the soil.

This is moisture that evaporates from the soil and gets trapped in your crawlspace. This excess moisture creates the conditions ideal for your foundation to rot. Over 90 percent of pier-and-beam homes have their beams made out of wood. The vapor itself is relatively harmless – it is just water. As you’re well aware, warm moist areas attract bacteria that will help quicken the rotting process.

There is a relatively low-cost way to protect your home from this vapor – install a moisture barrier under your home. This barrier is a sheet of plastic 10 mil thick that acts as a groundcover underneath your home. To compare, the thickest, heaviest duty trash bags that are usually reserved for contractors are three mils thick.

Having this moisture barrier will prevent mold and odor being present in your crawlspace. A drier crawlspace will do two things. One, the air will be healthier for you to breathe and easier on your air conditioning filter. The other thing that will do is maintain the temperature in your home better, saving you in utility costs. Since the crawlspace will be drier, your floors will also be more comfortable. Year-round, your floors will be neither too hot nor too cold.

Those are the immediate effects that you will see as soon as you install a moisture barrier under your home. Looking down the road, moisture barriers will also significantly reduce the chances of your pipes bursting. If you look under your home, chances are all of your wastewater from your entire house will feed into one large 4-inch iron sewage pipe. We already know that the inside of the pipe is moist. When the outside of the pipe is moist as well, the pipe itself becomes weak and likely to burst. Installing a moisture barrier offers a significant level of protection against the cost of the burst pipe – which can range in the thousands of dollars. Protect yourself and get a moisture barrier installed under your home.