No matter how fastidious you are about taking care of your home’s plumbing system, leaks are bound to happen. However, that doesn’t make them any less frustrating or less expensive to deal with. What’s worse is that these leakages can go undetected and worsen over time! However, with the right knowledge, you can keep an eye out for issues before things turn into a costly catastrophe. To help you save time and money, let’s look at the most common causes of household pipe leaks.
Clogged drains are a common leaky pipe culprit, and unfortunately, these are usually due to human error. You should never put certain items down the drain, such as grease and coffee grounds, as they tend to wreak havoc on your pipes. The more clogged a pipe gets, the more water builds up in it. This increases pressure in the pipe and eventually causes it to burst. If you notice it takes longer for water to go down the drain, you’re likely dealing with a clogged pipe.
Rust and Corrosion
The longer you live in a home, the more likely it is for your pipes to become damaged from rust and corrosion. It just happens naturally. This can also occur if you tend to pour chemicals down the drain or your water’s mineral content and pH levels are imbalanced. Any number of factors can create small holes that cause leaks. And even if you insulate the metal, corrosion can still occur. It’s best to keep tabs on the age of your pipes, just in case.
Rubber seals connect certain parts of your pipes, but it’s possible for them to break or become loose due to shifting. The natural movement of the home as it settles into the foundation causes the pipes to shift, which loosens the connectors. Additionally, the rubber degrades naturally over time. If water forms puddles around the appliance or runs directly from the supply line, you likely have an issue with your connectors.
Tree Root Intrusions
Tree root intrusions often occur due to tiny leaks that entice roots to move toward the nearest water source, but they can also occur if your trees are too close. Tree roots are incredibly strong and can interfere with or severely damage water lines. If you happen to notice wet patches or sinkholes in your yard, you may have an issue with root intrusions, especially if there are large healthy trees nearby.
The most common cause of pipe leaks for homes that reside in cold regions is rapid temperature change. When the temperature drops, water expands as it turns into ice. It quickly builds up pressure that pipes cannot contain. It can also cause cracks that go unnoticed until the water thaws and begins to leak. This is why you should always drain your pipes before winter.
Ultimately, if you’re unsure where a leak is coming from or what the problem is, you should call a plumber as soon as possible. The faster you get it fixed, the less money it will cost you in the long run.