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Homeowners keep an eye on their water pipes during winter, wrapping them in insulation or dripping the faucet, to ensure they don’t burst. But unbeknownst to homeowners, summer can wreak havoc on the pipes, too. Here are seven tips to prevent burst pipes in the summertime.

What causes pipes to burst in summer?

1. Age

Pipes that are worn, aged, and rusty are vulnerable to bursting—without exposure to excessive heat or cold. Old pipes that have undergone severe wear and tear are likely to burst because they are too worn to withstand the constant water pressure.

Increasing summer temperatures can cause water pipes to burst

2. Extreme Heat

Extreme summer temperatures can cause the pipes to burst. The rupture is likely to occur on the sections where the pipes transition from outside to inside. Soil loosens in severe heat, giving the pipes more room to shift and expand in the heat. As they shift, they can break.

3. Hard Water

Water pipes can weaken when hard water flows through them. Hard water teems with magnesium and calcium, more so than soft water. A buildup of these minerals is destructive to pipes because it slows down the water pressure. Buildup also corrodes the pipes, creating holes in the water flow.

4. Clogs

The accumulation of debris, such as from grease thrown down the drain or a blockage in the toilet, restricts water flow through the sewage lines and leads to the pipe bursting. A telltale sign of a clog in the pipes is low water pressure.

5. Poor Installation

Especially when purchasing a new property, home inspections are critical to avoiding costly disasters down the road. Without an inspection, the homeowner can end up buying a home with faulty pipe installation. Improper soldering and poorly fitted connections can cause costly water damage.

6. Tree Roots

Invasive tree roots can wrap around the outdoor water pipes, as they are drawn to the miniscule amounts of moisture from tiny leaks. As the tree grows, the roots place intense pressure on the pipes. If they wrap around sewage lines, broken pipes leading to the bathroom can result.

7. Unprofessional Repairs

Faulty repairs and patches on burst or damaged pipes can do significant harm. A poor soldering job, for instance, may not hold up over time. A pipe that is badly repaired can quickly rupture under the intense heat of summer and cost the homeowner more than the initial patch-up.

How is a burst pipe prevented in summer?

Tip 1: Perform Inspections

Just as there are many causes of burst pipes in summer, homeowners have an equally large number of prevention tactics. Regular pipe inspections can pinpoint small problems that can be fixed before they turn into a water damage disaster. Schedule inspections annually, or at least every other year.

Avoid simultaneous activites that cause high pressure on the pipes

Tip 2: Limit Excessive Water Use

Summer is when the pipes are utilized heavily. Garden hoses are in use and water sprinklers run. These activities put more pressure on the pipes. When using irrigation systems, avoid overtaxing the pipes; don’t simultaneously run appliances that use water, like the dishwasher and washing machine.

Tip 3: Replace Worn Pipes

The summer sun’s rays can beat down on exposed pipes and cause damage or weakening. If the pipes show signs of stress, replace them. Protect the pipes from future damage by painting them with light-colored acrylic paint or insulating them with materials designed for outdoor pipes.

Tip 4: Inspect the Foundation Area

The ground around the foundation can become dry and shift during the summer months. Water pipes that are out of alignment are vulnerable to rupturing. Prevent a water damage disaster by inspecting the area around the home’s exterior, looking for signs of shifting and stress.

Tip 5: Cut or Block Invasive Tree Roots

Inspect the water pipes for tree roots. A professional can snake a video line into the pipes and cut away the roots using a mechanical auger. A DIY approach also works. But the tree roots can grow back. Alternately, install a lining on the pipe to physically block the roots.

Tip 6: Insulate the Pipes

While insulating the water pipes is advisable during the harsh winters to protect them from frigid temperatures, it’s also recommended as ideal protection for the summer months. A professional flood prevention specialist is capable of doing the insulation job correctly.

Tip 7: Shut Off Water When Traveling

The summer months are when most people travel. Tiny leaks go unnoticed when leaving the home for extended periods. In extremely hot weather, the leaky pipes can burst. Either ask a neighbor to check the pipes or completely shut off the water supply when traveling.

A burst pipe is not only a risk in winter but in summer weather, too. But by following these prevention methods, the homeowner can rest easy knowing their home is safe and dry. In the event an unexpected water damage event occurs, call on ServiceMaster S&R Systems.

We are a reputable water damage restoration service. Our IICRC certified technicians arrive promptly after your call and assess the extent of water damage. A restoration plan is developed on the spot, and our specialists begin work immediately to return the property to its pre-loss condition.

Our water damage cleanup process begins with repairing the water source. We run high-tech water extraction equipment to eliminate excess moisture. We set up powerful drying and dehumidification machinery to thoroughly dry the property and affected materials. Water damaged goods are cleaned and restored.

Unaddressed water damage can lead to mold infestations. Mold spores can infest an area within 24 to 48 hours after water exposure. ServiceMaster specialists prevent mold and remove existing growth, if colonies have developed amid the water damage. We also help with insurance claims.

Water damage requires immediate action to prevent lasting damage. ServiceMaster S&R Systems is the top choice for residential and commercial property owners in Aurora, Naperville, and Joliet, Illinois. We’ll stop the spread of water damage and restore your home or business. Call our water damage cleanup experts today.

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