News & Events: Blog

Why Your Pipes Will Make You Question Everything

Monday, July 11th, 2016 by Audrey Simmons


Pipe with wrenches

We hear about frozen pipes in houses causing extreme water damage in colder climates, but what about here in Florida? If you live in a warm climate and don’t worry about the pipes in your home freezing and bursting, do you really need to think about your home's pipes at all? Well, we don’t want you to worry but you should be aware of what condition your pipes are in and what factors can cause a pipe to be compromised.

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What causes pipes to burst in warm weather?

  • Old, worn out, or rusty pipes. The material of your pipes, how much daily use they get, and how hard your water is will affect how long until they begin to wear out and need to be replaced. Check your pipes regularly and pay attention! Routine pipe inspections are best. Older pipes that have started to weaken will be more likely to burst. As pressure begins to build up, the weakest spots on the pipe will give in first.

  • Hard water. It’s called hard water because it has a high mineral count - particularly calcium and magnesium. Although not harmful to people, these two minerals can wreak havoc on the pipes in your home. As calcium and magnesium begin to build up in your pipes, it can block flow and lower your water pressure. This buildup can occur at the faucet also, causing a constant drip - which  may affect your water bill. These sneaky minerals are also capable of eating through your pipes, creating small holes in which water slowly escapes causing water damage in your home. Test your water, and purchase a water softener if necessary.

  • Poor installation. If your pipes were installed poorly, they may become weak more quickly. If the connections aren’t soldered properly on copper pipes, or the connections on pvc pipes aren’t fitted correctly, these joints can easily become leaky spots. Find a reputable company to install and/or work on your plumbing and always ask for references.

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Are your pipes worn out?

The faster you address a compromised pipe, the better! When moisture is present, mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours - affecting your home in different ways. Keep an eye out for these signs and act on them as soon as you notice:

  • Wall stains. Inspect the walls near your plumbing pipes for stains. Stains mean water, and water means something is leaking and it could be your pipes. If you notice this, call a professional right away. A small leak can do significant damage in a short period of time.

  • Yellow or brown water. You will most likely notice dark-ish water coming from your shower or tap right away. This is a sign your pipes have begun to rust. Rusty pipes indicate your copper pipes have started to deteriorate and need to be replaced.

  • Low water pressure. Low water pressure in your home is caused by a number of issues such as mineral deposit buildup, debris in the water, or leaky pipes. If you notice your water pressure is losing its umph, call a professional out to do a routine check ASAP - before a little problem becomes a big problem.

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I have a burst pipe… now what?

Dave Baxter, owner of Baxter Restoration, tells us: If a pipe has burst in your home, think quick and act fast! Yes, you have a damaged pipe, but more importantly, you want to stop that water from damaging your home too, costing you potentially thousands of dollars. When you notice the water coming in:

  • Act fast!

  • Stop the water at the main valve (at the street) to end the flow of water coming into your house.

  • Turn off your electric supply.

  • Call Baxter Restoration (or another restoration company if you’re out of our area) and professionals will come to you 24 hours a day to dry out your home and salvage your possessions.

  • Report the incident to your insurance company and make a claim.

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There is no way to guarantee you will never experience a burst or leaky pipe in your home, even in Florida. What you can do is keep an eye out! Watch out for early warning signs like leaky ceilings, stained or damp walls, low water pressure, noisy pipes, and electrical faults. Don’t wait! Call a professional as soon as you notice a change to avoid a potential disastrous water damage.

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