What Causes Water Pipes To Burst?

There are a variety of reasons why water pipes burst, including sub-freezing temperatures, pesky tree roots, corrosion, and more.  Additionally, if any pipe repairs were not done properly, your pipes could be at risk of bursting. Burst pipes can lead to expensive property damage, and what’s more, a water leak in your home can also lead to mildew and mold growth and increase the risk of aggravating any respiratory illnesses you may already have. HRS Restoration Services is your go-to call when you have burst pipes. Our trained, certified, and experienced team responds 24/7 because there’s never a convenient time for your pipes to burst. When your pipes burst, water is not the only problem you’ll face. Call a full service disaster restoration company like HRS who can repair plumbing, extract water, and clean up any mold or mildew resulting from a burst water pipe.  Call us for information or to schedule an appointment today!


Top Reasons For Pipes Bursting

Most people only ask “what causes water pipes to burst?” AFTER the damage has already been done. Some reasons pipes burst are tied to human intervention, time, weather, pressure, soil shifts, and constantly growing tree roots. Below, we delve into the many reasons your pipes can burst.

Frozen Water Pipes

If the outside temperature is 20 degrees fahrenheit or lower for an extended period , there is a possibility that ice can form in your water pipes. As that ice forms, it expands and creates pressure, and if the pressure cannot be contained by your water pipes, they will rupture and burst. If your pipes are older, non-insulated, and located in an unheated area, the chances increase that your pipes will burst.


If you have older steel water pipes, the passage of time and normal wear generally leads to corrosion. Increased water pressure and high oxygen levels in your water also contribute to the corrosion problem. Corrosion weakens your home’s water pipes and can result in a burst water pipe. Less corrosive materials like copper and plastic are used in homes built in the 1960’s or later so corrosion is less likely to happen. 

Tree Root Encroachment

You can’t stop Mother Nature, and the same goes for her tree roots. Tree roots search for a water source, and your water pipes are an attractive destination. When a tree root runs into a water pipe, the pipe is no match and will break or burst. 

Soil Shifting

Your water pipes may be subject to jostling and eventually breaking if your house is built on expansive soil. In drought conditions, soil shrinks, leaving your foundation without support. In wetter weather, soil expands and puts extra pressure on your foundation. In addition to weather affecting the soil, nearby construction also leads to soil shifts. One way to minimize the impact of construction is to ask your construction crew, or your neighbors, to be mindful of where they remove or place the soil they’re digging up. 

High Water Pressure

An increase in water pressure can result in a pipe burst. Have a plumber check the pressure of each faucet and spigot, or ask your water company to check water pressure at the meter. Ideally, optimal water pressure for most home water pipes is 40 to 45 psi. At most, your water pressure should never exceed 60 psi, as it increases the risk for your pipes to burst at this pressure. 


If you have a clog in your pipes, undue pressure will result and at some point the pressure will cause the pipe to crack or burst. Do not throw anything down your drains that is not completely liquid. Don’t be fooled by supposedly “flushable” wipes. These are a common culprit when your bathroom plumbing is clogged.

Movement & Hammering

If your water pipes aren’t securely attached, they will move around when you turn your water on and off. You may hear a telltale clanging or hammering inside your walls or under your floor. Constant movement of your pipes causes them to weaken, especially at the joints, and eventually burst. To prevent this issue, ask a plumber to check that your pipes are secure, and make adjustments if needed. 

Incorrect Pipework & Pipe Layering

If you’ve had someone other than a licensed plumber perform pipework or make connections, there’s a high likelihood that mistakes were made, resulting in an eventual pipe burst. This could happen when a larger pipe is joined to a smaller pipe of lesser thickness and excessive water pressure can render the pipe structurally weak, causing it to burst. 

Improper Connections

The connection between pipes is a vulnerable spot. If the connection between pipes is weak or improperly configured, subsequent high water pressure may lead to burst pipes. An experienced licensed plumber can prevent water pipe breaks by reinforcing your pipe connections. 


What To Do If Your Pipes Burst

If a frozen or weakened pipe bursts in or outside of your home, it’s time to act quickly and get out your smartphone, fans, and vacuums. Below we cover the necessary steps to take when your water pipes burst and cause water damage. 

Shut Off Water Supply

Find your home’s main water supply valve. If you don’t know where it is, familiarize yourself with its location. Shut off all water by turning the long valve counterclockwise a quarter turn. As soon as the valve is in a horizontal position, the water supply has been shut off. Shutting off the water will help limit damage and the flow of water into your home or business.

Call Your Insurance Company

Sudden and accidental damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance. One example of sudden and accidental damage is when a frozen pipe bursts. However, your insurance company will not pay for damage that results from improper maintenance, aka, hoping that a leak will just stop if you ignore it. Call your insurance company and keep a log of all water or mold damaged items. 

Contact A Professional Water Damage Restoration Company

A regular cleaning company will not be able to extract and dry out the waterlogged areas of your home. Nor will they be able to rid your home of mold and mildew that results from a water incident. A disaster or damage restoration company has qualified professionals, equipment, and training to dry out, extract water, and rid your home of mold or mildew. 

Remove Water ASAP

Mold and mildew can develop within 24-48 hours following a water damage incident. It’s important to extract as much water as possible, including what you can see, and what you can’t see that may be trapped beneath flooring and walls. Once you suction or mop up the excess water, you are better able to dry out and ventilate the area to prevent mold and mildew growth.


Consequences Of Water Damage

The fallout from water damage can affect your health and your wallet. Mold and mildew spores can grow and spread throughout your home and sicken your entire family. 

Water damage may necessitate expensive structural repairs of flooring and walls. Furthermore, water and electrical wires are a dangerous combination. Damaged wiring may arc or cause power surges that could permanently damage your appliances.

Lastly water damage can cause severe bug infestations and for wood to rot. 

Below, we discuss the consequences of water damage in more detail. 

Mold Growths

How fast does mold grow? Mold and mildew can grow within 24-48 hours after a water pipe break. If the break is within a wall or under your flooring, it will be more difficult to dry out the area to prevent mold spores from finding the perfect dark and damp place to take hold. Before you can clean up the mold, you have to make sure the water incident that caused it has been fixed. If water continues to leak, you will have to make necessary plumbing repairs first. 

Mold and mildew have numerous negative health effects, including itchy, watery, red eyes, scratchy throat, and sneezing. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or allergies, especially respiratory related, the health effects may be more severe. 

Mold and mildew are also quite destructive to walls and flooring. Mold spores break down surfaces and can cause your walls and floors to crumble. Mold left to grow unchecked leads to expensive fixes for your flooring and walls. 

Compromised Structural Integrity

Water can cause structures to bend and weaken. Water damage can even affect a structure’s integrity by rusting and weakening metal. Water damage may extend below your home as shown by cracks in your foundation. Any time structural integrity is compromised, the safety of your home becomes a big issue. 

Damaged Wiring, Gas Lines & Appliances

Water can damage wiring, gas lines, and appliances. Even if your appliances and HVAC system dries out, it is likely that components are damaged or should be replaced for safety and reliability reasons. The high cost to repair appliances means you’re better off replacing your damaged appliances. If your gas line is damaged, it may leak, causing you to experience headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.. 

Bug Infestations

Carpenter ants, termites, silverfish, beetles, roaches, etc., are all attracted to a wet, moist environment. These insects can gain entry through the basement of your home and use the conduits of your electrical wires to get into every nook and cranny. Carpenter ants and termites eat damp rotting wood, and silverfish feed on human waste. 


How To Fix & Restore Water Damage 

Once you’ve turned off the water, and begun the process of cleaning and drying out the area, you need to determine the extent of the damage. Some damage may be easily visible, but other damage may be harder to see. Water travels to low points and paths of least resistance. 

In order to ensure the health and safety of the structure and your family or employees it’s important to not just dry out the area, but clean, sanitize and ensure structural integrity hasn’t been compromised. While small leaks may be easily managed, larger leaks should be addressed by experienced, licensed, professional restoration companies like HRS.

When To Call A Professional

A professional water restoration company, like HRS, is prepared to tackle all issues related to a burst water pipe, including plumbing, general repairs and replacements, mold and mildew removal, and water extraction. 

Speaking of extraction,you may be wondering how long does it take to dry out water damage.

It depends on whether you can determine where it is and what tools you have. 

Unless you are a Jack, or Jill, of all trades, we recommend calling a company like HRS Restoration Services who can quickly remove the water and mold, and repair or replace your home’s wiring, walls, floors, and foundation. Not all signs of water damage are visible, so it’s best to hire a company with electrical and plumbing experience. 


Why Choose HRS Restoration Services

HRS Restoration Services has completed Denver water damage restoration work for 25 years. Our customers appreciate our 24/7 availability and rapid response time. After all, your home’s safety and stability is our number #1 priority. 

Contact HRS Restoration Services Today!

When you suffer an emergency on your property, whether it is fire, water, mold or other trauma, HRS’s certified and licensed restoration professionals in Denver are ready to help.

Bringing your property back to its pre-damaged condition, while protecting the health and safety of those who live and work in the space, is our mission.

Contact us today to get started!

Always Available

Anytime of day, any day of the year, HRS is here to fix what may seem overwhelming and intimidating. Our professionals in Denver are here to help 24/7.

what is iicrc and Why is it important?

IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Formed nearly 40 years ago, it is a non-profit organization that establishes globally recognized standards for the cleaning and restoration industry, as well as providing certifications, journeyman and master designation, and education.

By choosing a firm with IICRC certified team members, you are assured the cleaning professionals have undergone rigorous training and will handle your disaster restoration with the highest standard of care.


Helping Our Customers Immediately.

Figuring out what steps to take when disaster strikes can be a daunting task. HRS is here 24/7 to walk you through the process and bring your home or business back to habitable condition(s).

Taking care of emergencies so you don’t have to.

At HRS, we understand the panic that can set in when your basement floods or a fire breaks out at your business. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to repair damage and give you peace of mind.