Anyone who has ever had a pipe burst in their home can tell you how stressful they can be. After all, even a seemingly minor pipe burst can result in some major flooding and thousands of dollars in property damage.

But why do pipe bursts happen?

Burst pipes usually occur during the colder winter months. The still water in pipes freezes over night, and the ice begins to exert pressure against the inside of the pipe. If the pressure causes the pipe to break, then you have a pipe burst. Once the ice thaws, water will flow out of the crack and flood your home.

How to prevent pipe bursts

Fortunately, there are ways to protect your home from the flooding and cleanup costs associated with a pipe burst.

Here are five tips for keeping your home safe this winter:

  1. Leave a faucet on at a slow drip at night. This will both keep the water in the pipes moving (and thus less likely to freeze) and it will also decrease the pressure on the inside of the pipe if the water does freeze.
  2. Keep the heat on, even if you’re not going to be at home. You may think you can keep your house cold if you’re going to be warm in bed or going on vacation, but allowing your home to get too cold can lead to pipe bursts.
  3. Open the doors beneath sinks and other areas with exposed pipes. This will expose the pipes to the warmer air in the main portion of your house.
  4. If a room in your home gets particularly cold during the winter, check along the walls (particularly around windows) for any signs of cracks of other flaws that might be allowing cold air in. If you find any, seal them and add extra insulation to the walls of the room.
  5. Insulate pipes that are exposed to the cold air. This includes pipes running along outside walls, through uninsulated attics and garages, and through any other rooms that get especially cold.

Keep dry

Pipes that are appropriately insulated against variations in outside temperatures won’t be at risk of bursting. By following the above steps, you can ensure that your home will be safe from the threat of pipe bursts. However, if something does go wrong, you can call your Tri-State pipe burst cleanup experts!

By Tim Crain. morgantown house with frozen pipes