Busted Pipes Can Be Such a Headache
Winters here in Saddlebrook, New Jersey, and surrounding areas can be brutal, and with the freezing temperatures come freezing pipes. It doesn’t matter if you have a burst pipe in the walls, a burst pipe in the ceiling, under the house, or underground — nobody wants to deal with the cost and the mess of burst pipe repairs.
What does a burst pipe sound like?
If you have never experienced a burst water pipe, then that question may sound odd to you, but there are noises associated with the burst water pipe. And as a homeowner, it is not one you want to hear. But in this part of the country where it gets bitterly cold for weeks, water pipes freeze then burst and it seems like everyone is needed burst pipe repair at the same time.
The areas of your home that is the most susceptible to water pipes freezing enough to burst are:
- In the basement
- In the garage, attached or detached
- In crawl spaces
- Inside exterior walls
As winter will only get colder from this point forward here in New Jersey, if you haven’t experienced water pipes bursting to know what it will sound like, keep reading:
- Popping Noise
If you hear a loud popping sound inside a wall, this is often from a water pipe bursting. Why does a pipe burst when they freeze? Water expands when it freezes, and as chucks of that ice press against the pipe, it blocks the water flow.
That expanded ice distorts the water pipe and where they are weak, they burst with a loud pop, almost like a backfiring car. You won’t hear a popping with every pipe burst, it is usually just the first one, relieving pressure off the other pipes. That doesn’t mean you’ll only need one burst pipe repair though.
- Running Water Inside the Walls
If you don’t hear the popping sound, you may hear the after-effect of water cascading, running down inside the wall. No, it won’t be that gurgling sounds when the sewer line is clogged, or the water pressure is varying. It will be an abnormal sound because water isn’t supposed to be running inside a wall.
Don’t hesitate to get help for burst pipe repairs! Who fixes a burst pipe? Call a local plumber, one that offers emergency service. In the meantime, turn the water off at the main until the plumber can get there. The longer you let that water run, the more damage it is doing to the walls, floor, and even the foundation, not to mention your water bill!
- Unexplained Absent Water
Inconvenience is the next indicator you need burst pipe repair service. You turn on the water in the kitchen and nothing comes out. You try the bathroom, and laundry room, and still no water.
First, check with the utility company and see if they are working on the water lines. If that proves not to be the possible issue, then you probably need to call a plumber for burst pipe repair.
What happens when a pipe bursts?
A burst water pipe can create major damage to your home. And the longer it goes unnoticed, the more damage it creates. Here are 5 areas where the key damage happens:
- The Walls
A burst pipe creates water damage to both exterior and interior walls. The water damage to the exterior will coat and saturate the plaster, stucco, or wood, accumulate in the wood structural components, and weaken their stability. On the interior walls, the electrical wiring is exposed to water, risking shorting out and sparking a fire.
- The Ceilings
A second-floor water pipe burst will usually soak through to the floor below, damaging the ceiling. Enough water leak could flood both the upstairs and downstairs area. The light fixtures on the first floor can fill with water, short them out, and spark a fire. The insulation and support beams get wet and weakened.
- The Flooring
The floors surrounding the burst pipe become flooded and based on where the burst pipe and the water flow, it can ruin more than just the flooring. No matter if you have carpeting, cement, linoleum, or wood flooring, enough water can cause damage, leaving you needing more than burst pipe repairs.
- The Interiors
A burst water pipe will allow water to accumulate in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, laundry room, and other areas of the house and saturate the furniture from the bottom up. The water will soak into the fabric, usually destroying the upholstery. Anything electrical is ruined along with the outlets, including appliances, computers, lamps, and televisions.
- Mold Growth
Even with minimal water damage, the damp drywall and wood will mildew and breed mold. That mold will lead to illness for everyone in the house, especially anyone with asthma, lung conditions, or other underlying health issues. The sooner all the water is cleaned up and things are dried out, the better.
Will a pipe burst if it freezes?
It isn’t a steadfast rule that every time it is cold enough to freeze pipes, burst pipe repair will be needed. However, the risk is high as they thaw, and it can be worse as the pressure in the pipes increases. Therefore it is recommended by plumbers to leave your faucets dripping when the temperature is below freezing. This keeps the pressure off the pipes when they do begin thawing. This will minimize the chance you’ll need any burst pipe repair.
If you do have a burst pipe and the plumber is going to be a while, here is how to repair a burst water pipe temporarily:
Turn the water off at the main. Spread an epoxy putty over a crack or hole in a pipe. Remember, this is a temporary fix only! You can also use a fiberglass tape with polyurethane-type resin for a more durable patch along with the epoxy putty. Another option is to slide a sleeve over the pipe and attach a clamp.
How long does it take to repair a burst pipe?
It will depend on where the burst pipe repair is needed and how it is situated. A burst pipe under the kitchen sink can take less than an hour. A burst pipe repair under the house or in a wall can take several hours.
Are burst pipes covered by insurance?
This depends on your individual policy, but in most cases, if you have burst pipes repairs needed because you turned the heat on in the middle of the winter and take other preventive steps, then no, you will not have coverage.
A small, slow leak that has caused damage over time will not be covered either. However, an accidental leak or sudden pipe burst may be covered. You should review your policy before you find yourself knee-deep in water waiting on a burst pipe repair job.
If you need help, reach out at 551-257-6200 as soon as you can!