Phone Number: 02089 830444

Mobile Number: 07956 321 334

What Damage Can A Burst Pipe Cause

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
  • Tags:
  • Posted date:
  • 24-02-2022
What Damage Can A Burst Pipe Cause

What damage can a burst pipe cause? Find out why plumbing maintenance is so important and the damage that can be caused to your home by leaking water.

Broken Pipes and Water Damage

Broken pipes are one of the most common causes of water destruction in homes, and almost every homeowner will have to experience a burst pipe or leak at some point and will need to deal with the consequences.

Every single home contains numerous pipes that could potentially burst or break, including sewage pipes and sink pipes. These pipes can be found all over the home. Some locations include the interior walls, exterior walls, underground, or ceilings.

No matter where your pipes are located, it is absolutely crucial to fix broken pipes as soon as possible to prevent water damage and mildew and mould growth.

Broken and damaged pipes are not always obvious. The majority of pipes will burst or leak without any warning at all, and the time before you notice the signs of a damaged pipe can be longer than expected.

It's not uncommon for people to only gain awareness of a broken pipe for days, weeks or even months after the damage has been done.

What Damage Can A Burst Pipe Cause?

However, once you spot a leaking or broken pipe, you must act fast and try to solve the issue as soon as possible.

If a broken pipe isn't repaired as soon as possible, it can become an absolute disaster. Leaking water will damage your property, but can also make its way into your belongings and damage those too.

Appliances, furniture, carpets, rugs, and even clothes can all be ruined through a broken pipe accident. Water seepage that's left completely unattended can impact every home occupant's health.

This is due to dangerous bacteria and moulds that grow in damp environments.

Common Reasons To Call A Plumber

What Damage Can A Burst Pipe Cause?

A burst pipe, no matter whether it's just a small leak or serious pipe breakage, will create dangerous and costly water damage in the interior and exterior walls. Insulation may grow saturated with water inside the walls, ruining the material. Electrical wiring that is exposed to water may short out electricity and increase the risk of fire due to sparks being formed.

Exterior house walls can be affected as the pipe's water costs and fully saturates the plaster, wood, or render. If the water accumulates and saturates timbers and other structural elements for a long time, structural weakness can occur.

If a pipe bursts on the second floor, the water can soak down slowly through the floor and into the ceiling of the rooms below. If there is enough water, it can be pouring through the ceiling and flood the lower floor rooms.

The water can damage light fixtures and their wiring, as well as support beams and insulation which is in the ceiling.

After the events of a burst pipe, the surrounding floors may become flooded. Depending on the location of the burst pipe, and the speed of the water leaving the pipe, then all different types of flooring can be damaged. Carpeting, wood flooring, and even cement can be completely damaged by water.

Wood and linoleum floors can become warped or cracked, and carpets will be mouldy and gain a terrible odour. When cement floors are exposed to water damage for a long time, then they may settle or crack.

A burst pipe can cause the accumulation of water within your bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and other essential areas of your house. The water gathering on the floor can lead to furniture becoming saturated, and fabric and upholstery being destroyed if water gathers to a height of several inches or higher.

Accumulation of water can also be dangerous, electrical outlets may short out, and damage can be caused to appliances with plugs laying around such as lamps or televisions.

Even if you managed to fix your broken pipe as soon as possible, and water damage is minimal, the wood and plaster within your walls are a veritable breeding ground for various different types of mould and fungus. This can then lead to illness, especially for people who suffer from asthma or other lung conditions. Catching the leak as soon as possible and drying up the water seepage quickly can help to prevent mould growth. If you use a wet/dry vacuum to suck up any moisture you find and then open windows and use industrial fans to dry up the space, you should be able to solve the issue.

What Causes Broken Pipes?

All kinds of circumstances can cause broken pipes, but most commonly, pipes have issues due to extreme weather changes.

For example, deep in Wintertime, the pipes in your home may freeze over. This will cause the water within to expand and burst the pipe. A storm and massive rainfall may put too much pressure on your pipes at another time of year and cause them to crack.

No matter what it is exactly that has caused the breakage, broken pipes are always a major issue.

Over time, changes in pressure can cause the pipes within your home to break, leak, and permanently damage your valuables. Your furniture, appliances, carpets, upholstery, and even clothing can all be entirely ruined in a broken pipe accident.

Smaller leaks can go unnoticed for a long period of time and therefore can cause even more serious deterioration.

Though broken pipes are usually quite unexpected and will take most homeowners by surprise, the causes of the incident itself are quite predictable.

Broken pipes can appear for many varying reasons, but some of the most likely causes are below:

High Water Pressure

Freezing Temperatures

Corrosion & Ageing Of Pipe Structure

Pipe Clogs

Tree Roots

Shifting Soil

Most homeowners are only aware of the cause after the pipe has already burst.

But being able to recognise the common causes of a broken pipe can help you understand why your pipe has burst and help you solve the situation sooner.

Having a deep understanding of the cause can also help to prevent future leaks.

Reducing The Risk Of Burst Pipes

Reducing The Risk Of Burst Pipes

Protecting Plumbing From Frost

Taking the following simple steps will significantly reduce the risk of frozen pipes that can lead to bursting:

Insulate water tanks and pipes in unheated areas such as lofts, garages, and outbuildings

Fix dripping taps - a gentle trickle of water can freeze and completely block the pipe

Locate your internal stop tap/valve - this can commonly be found underneath the kitchen sink and will be closed by turning it clockwise

Regularly have your boiler serviced

Ensure doors and windows are kept closed in the unheated areas of the house

If you are away from home during the winter period, open up your loft hatch into the attic to allow some of the warm air to circulate. This should only ever be a temporary measure as it will cause condensation. Tanks and pipes should be insulated.

If you are away from home leave the house's heating system on low

Leave a key with someone you trust to regularly check on your home

Write down the contact details of the registered plumber just in case a pipe does burst

Dealing With Frozen Pipes

Most frozen pipes are found within a home's attic or below sink units. If you, unfortunately, locate a frozen pipe within your home, then you should:

Turn off the water supply at the stop tap/valve

Thaw the frozen water along the pipe, starting from the end nearest the tap

Never use a blowtorch or naked flame

Use hot water bottles or a thick cloth soaked in hot water over the frozen pipe to thaw, or use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to thaw pipes. Be very careful not to warm the pipes too quickly

Do not leave the taps dripping or running. The water is not likely to flush down the plughole if the pipes below are frozen solid.

Dealing With Burst Pipes

If a pipe in your home bursts, then you should:

Turn off the stop tap/valve.

Try to block off escaping water with a towel or thick cloth.

Turn on all your taps to reduce flooding.

Contact a qualified plumber.

Do not forget to turn off taps once the issue is fixed in order to avoid further flooding.

Dealing With Burst Pipes

If you require further assistance on blocked drains at your commercial or domestic property, please reach out to our professional team who work across East London. 

Do you need a plumber in East London? 

Contact us for plumbing services in Docklands, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Newham, Hackney, Southwark or Greenwich.