Leaky and damaged pipes can lead to dangerous problems and can cost thousands of dollars to repair. The worst part is that many homeowner insurance policies don’t cover water damage or water pipe repair and replacement. The good news is that water pipe damage can often be prevented with the proper observation and action. Here is a list of common causes of water pipe failures and what you should know to keep a minor leak from turning into a plumbing emergency.
The age of your pipes
According to the EPA, the average age of a broken water main is about 47 years old. Unfortunately, the majority of the country’s pipes are over 75 years old. Knowing how old your pipes are can help you evaluate if underground repairs are necessary. A qualified plumber can estimate how old your pipes are by looking where the pipes enter the foundation wall.
Invasions from your yard
Do you have mature trees in your yard? Tree roots can spread up to 50 feet from the tree base and they like to seek out water pipes so they can absorb water and nutrients from them. Roots can crush or grow into pipes causing blocks and damage.
The makeup of your yard itself may be assaulting your pipes. Here in Virginia many of us deal with clay soil, which is one of the most corrosive types. Over time clay soil causes pipe deterioration and can eventually result in a break or leak.
Don’t ignore warning signs
Have you experienced a plumbing problem? Even minor issues, such as stammering faucet, a clogged toilet, or a small sewer backup, can be indications of much bigger problems. It is always important to do a thorough investigation and ensure you’re not just seeing the tip of the iceberg. At Robinson’s Plumbing, we inspect your sewer lines with a drain camera to confirm the root cause rather than simply slapping a band aid on and hoping for the best.
The changing seasons
Rapid changes in temperature cause pipes to expand and contract, making them more susceptible to cracks. The ground starts to freeze when the air temperatures are near or below freezing and pipes become brittle when the water temperature reaches 40 degrees.
Concerned about your pipes? Contact Robinson’s Plumbing to help evaluate your risk factors and determine in action if necessary, because preventative measures are much less costly and inconvenient than dealing with a full blown plumbing emergency.