Winter weather and burst pipes
When outdoor temperatures drop into and below freezing in the winter, exposed pipes are at elevated risk of bursting– resulting in considerable water damage and excessive costs. So, what actually causes this to happen and how to know if it has happened in your home?
Water in its liquid form is a very interesting substance. Water molecules are in constant motion, which allows very little space in between each molecule. And just as humans, especially in cold weather these molecules have a tendency to huddle together. As weather temperatures begin to move toward freezing, these molecules begin to change dramatically. The bonds of the water molecules begin to increase in strength becoming stronger, they start to restrict movement and result in a more rigid and defined structure. At this stage, the constant motion has become steady and stilled, therefore creating an alternate, larger- structure thus requiring more space. And bingo, now we have the recipe for a burst pipe. You see that narrow, metal structure can only hold so much material that is at a static stand still.
Now, how do you know if you have a burst pipe? Some signs are unquestionable – drastically reduced water pressure, puddles under the sink and smelly water. Others may sneak up on you over some time – increased water bill, mold, increasingly visible watermarks and a faint to loud sound of water dripping in the walls. Many of these signs are in clear view but others may be out of sight and the more subtle signs can be more difficult to track. If any of these signs are present in your home, it’s crucial to call the right repair professionals as soon as possible.
The best course of action if this does occur is to intervene as early as possible. Highly trained professionals are necessary as soon as the possible problem has been identified. It is a rather common occurrence and can be treated or even prevented in the future.