Checking Your House for Damaged Pipes

Cold weather and cold weather followed by warm weather then more cold weather can cause multiple things to go wrong in our home. The most common item: frozen pipes. We’ve answered so many calls this winter because of the harsh cold and all the freezing pipes in Northern VA. But, frozen pipes aren’t the only plumbing issue that our houses encounter this time of year.

Another common issue that we face is damaged pipes. In some ways, this damage is even worse than frozen pipes because it is not always as noticeable.

What is a damaged pipe?

Damaged pipes are pipes that are in some way physically damaged – they can leak, have a crack(s), or break in some way.

How do pipes get damaged?

There are a few factors that go into damaged pipes. One is age. Older pipes are more susceptible to leaking or getting damaged. As they age, they get weaker.

Another way that pipes get damaged is due to severe weather. When temperatures are cold, they weaken pipes. Just like frozen pipes, damaged pipes are heavily influenced by temperature. When the temperature changes suddenly from cold to warm to cold, it can cause trapped water to melt and then refreeze, thus damaging the pipe.

Outside faucets can easily freeze and since you are not turning it on all the time, you won’t know that there is anything wrong.

How do you find out if your pipes are damaged?

The best way to uncover any damage to your pipes is to call a Marines Plumbing professional to come perform an inspection. During the inspection we check for the following:

  • Cracks
  • Gaps
  • Breaks
  • Leaks

There are occasionally more obvious indicators so if you see any of the following, they may be a sign you have a damaged pipe.

  • Water damage
  • Low water pressure

Low water pressure is not a very reliable sign since it also can mean lots of other things are going on like older pipes or clogged pipes.

For outdoor pipes, if you turn them on and notice a reduced water flow or any signs of water leaking out, turn it off immediately and call in a professional!

Now that things are warming up, don’t be caught off guard with damaged pipes from the winter. Call Marines Plumbing today to do a proactive inspection of your pipes.

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