No one wants to hear it, but a leak in your plumbing can be costly. In addition to the repair bill, leaks can cause other issues such as water damage and mold. A pervasive leak can even drive up the cost of your utilities.
It is important to be proactive and keep an eye out for leaks and potential causes of future leaks. There are many different possible causes of leaking pipes, as well as possible fixes and solutions.
This guide will cover the obvious (and not so obvious) signs that your pipes may be leaking, the most common reasons for leaks, and what you can do about them.
Causes of Leaking Pipes #1: Clogged Pipes
Clogged pipes are a very common reason for plumbing leaks. These clogs are most often caused by household plumbing mistakes such as flushing things down your toilet that should never be flushed or not using a drain strainer at your kitchen sink. This is why prevention is so important.
Whatever the cause, the best remedy for a clogged plumbing system is not what you might think. Chemical drain cleaning products often make the situation worse. The best solution is to use a tool such as a snake or an auger to safely remove the entire clog at its source.
In addition to potentially causing cracks or ruptures at the drain, untreated clogs can also increase your water pressure and put a strain on your pipes throughout the system. Addressing clogged pipes immediately is key to avoiding a bigger problem.
Causes of Leaking Pipes #2: Water Pressure Issues
High water pressure is notorious for causing pipe damage and water leaks.
Your water pressure should ideally sit between 40 and 85 psi. If you have a water leak that is caused by high pressure, you will need to adjust the pressure in addition to replacing the broken piping. A professional can help you find ways to regulate the pressure in your system to prevent future issues.
Causes of Leaking Pipes #3: Tree Roots
Surprisingly, one of the most common causes of plumbing leaks can be the trees in your yard. As tree roots grow and spread out over time, they can cause irreversible damage to your pipes.
This type of leak may not be noticeable at first, as it often takes place only underground. If your water bill is higher than usual or you are experiencing low water pressure, it could be a sign that your plumbing system has become affected by a nearby root system.
You may also notice pools of standing water in your yard as moisture seeps out from your pipes into the ground. If this is the cause of your water leak, you may need to relay your pipes and remove some of the surrounding trees. A professional can help pinpoint the problem.
Causes of Leaking Pipes #4: Foundation Shifts
Similarly, changes in your home’s foundation over time can damage your pipes and cause both major and minor water leaks. When your home’s foundation moves, cracks, or settles, your water lines can burst or become disconnected.
These leaks may be slow and sneaky as they are often underground. In this case, water pressure problems and unexpectedly high water bills are red flags of a deeper issue.
If you suspect that your home’s foundation may be causing a plumbing problem, you will likely need to hire an experienced professional to assess the situation and the likelihood of any further future damage. You may need to relay your pipes and take steps to stabilize your foundation.
Causes of Leaking Pipes #5: Weather
Drastic temperature changes, such as during a hard freeze, can cause significant and irreversible damage to your pipes. This is why conventional wisdom is to temporarily shut off your water at the source and drain your pipes ahead of bad weather such as a winter storm.
If you experience a leak due to temperature changes, this will often cause your pipes to burst, resulting in serious damage not only to your pipes but also to your home. When your leak is this major, you will likely need to replace the section(s) of your plumbing that burst. This is another area where prevention is extremely important and can save you a pretty penny on repairs.
Causes of Leaking Pipes #6: Corrosion
Over time, mineral buildup can corrode your pipes, leading to costly leaks. The older your plumbing is, the more likely you are to have issues with rust and corrosion. If you have hard water, you are even more likely to experience pipe corrosion. It is important to look for signs such as increased water pressure or restricted water flow that can lead to corroded pipes.
If this is the issue you are dealing with, often the only remedy is to replace your aging pipes with a new plumbing system. Though you may have a higher upfront cost, new pipes can save you money in the long run and increase your home’s property value.
Let Us Help You Address the Causes of Leaking Pipes
Sometimes homeowners can deal with minor plumbing problems on their own. However, if the issue becomes more complex than you originally anticipated, or you have attempted to fix the problem multiple times with no lasting solution, it may be time to call in a professional.
When you need an expert for Richmond plumbing maintenance and repair, look no further than Carroll Plumbing & Heating. We are here to help you with your plumbing leaks, repairs, and remodeling projects. Contact us today for your quick plumbing fix!
And if you want some additional tips to prevent these issues from happening, check out these tips on our site.