Burst pipes are a homeowner’s worst fear, resulting in damage, annoyance, and expensive repairs. It is essential to comprehend its causes. Broken pipes can occur in any season, not limited to the summer or the winter. Let’s examine the causes of seasonal variations in pipe breaks and how to protect your plumbing system all year.

What Causes Pipes to Burst?

Several variables, such as temperature swings, variations in water pressure, and pipe composition, can cause main water line leaks and pipes to burst. Regardless of the season, these factors can severely damage your plumbing system.

What Causes Pipes to Burst in the Winter?

Freezing Temperatures and Pressure Buildup:

The extremely low temperatures of winter present a severe risk to plumbing systems. Water in pipelines expands as it freezes, producing tremendous pressure. When pressure builds up above the pipes’ capacity, fractures or ruptures may result.

Vulnerability of Pipes in Unheated Areas:

Pipes in the house’s unheated or inadequately insulated areas are more prone to freezing and rupture. Crawl spaces, basements, attics, and external walls are typical problem areas. Freezing is more likely when pipes are not adequately insulated against cold air. 

Impact of Inadequate Insulation:

Inadequate insulation can make winter pipe breaches worse. Pipes can freeze in homes with insufficient insulation, which are more likely to experience temperature swings. Due to possible inadequate insulation, older homes are particularly vulnerable to winter pipe breaks.

Similar Read: Pipe Bursting vs. Pipe Lining: Which Option Is Best for Burst Pipes? 

What Causes a Pipe to Burst in Summer?

Pipe Burst Repair

Increased Water Pressure During Summer:

Municipal water systems endure higher water pressure throughout summer due to increased water demand. This increased pressure may strain older or damaged pipes, increasing the risk of an unexpected pipe rupture.

Expansion and Contraction of Pipes in Extreme Heat:

Pipes can expand and compress in the summer due to extreme heat. Over time, this expansion and contraction weakened the pipes’ integrity, increasing the likelihood of rupturing. Temperature variations notably affect pipes that are exposed to direct sunshine.  

Effects of Summer Storms and Heavy Rainfall:

Heavy rains and summer storms can strain subterranean pipes even more. The unexpected surge in water can overload drainage systems and create backups, resulting in plumbing infrastructure breaches or breaks.

Corrosion and Deterioration of Pipes:

Exposure to factors such as moisture and soil can cause pipes to corrode and degrade over time. The summer heat can hasten this process, making the pipes less structurally sound and raising the risk of rupture.

Impact of High Humidity on Pipes:

Summertime high humidity levels can hasten the degradation of pipes, particularly metal ones. Airborne moisture can encourage corrosion and rust, weakening the pipes and increasing the likelihood of rupturing.

Protecting Pipes from Extreme Heat and Sun Exposure:

Protecting pipes from intense heat and sunshine can prevent them from expanding and contracting, maintaining their structural integrity. Pipe insulation and the use of heat-resistant materials can assist in controlling the pipes’ temperature and lower the chance of bursting.

Maintaining Drainage Systems and Gutters:

Maintaining gutters and drainage systems is crucial to avoiding water accumulation near the home’s foundation. Proper drainage may also prevent water from seeping into the earth and damaging subsurface pipes.

Preventive Measures

There are a few precautions you may take to reduce the chance of pipe breaks, regardless of the season: 

  • Insulate pipes that are at risk, particularly those that are exposed or in cold climates.
  • Even in the most severe weather, keep the inside temperature constant. 
  • To stop cold drafts, seal any holes or cracks in the walls or foundation of your house. 
  • Replace outmoded plumbing systems with more resilient, modern materials. 

A licensed plumber can help you schedule routine maintenance checks and inspections to identify problems before they become more serious.

Safeguard Your Home: Year-Round Prevention for Burst Pipes

It is crucial to comprehend the reasons behind pipe breaks during different seasons to safeguard your house and reduce the possibility of water damage. Pipe bursts are a problem that may be avoided all year long by taking preventive steps and being watchful of your plumbing system.

Rapid Rooter provides complete plumbing services year-round, handling problems like winter pipe breaks with skilled insulation and upkeep. To ensure long-lasting dependability, they upgrade and cover pipelines from extreme pressure and temperature variations in the summer to prevent bursts.