What Causes Pipes To Burst?

Burst industrial pipe with water flowing out

Jun 24, 2024


Water pipes serve a vital function for your business, though there are times they can become vulnerable to damage, leading to a burst water pipe. When a water pipe bursts, it can lead to extensive damage to your commercial property.

While water pipes are designed for durability, certain factors can lead to compromising their integrity. If you have a burst pipe at your business, you need a licensed plumber to help resolve this issue quickly.

Coastal Commercial Services, Inc. specializes in providing top-quality plumbing services for commercial properties. Our family-owned business has years of experience in burst pipes with a wide range of solutions to help you get back on track. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common reasons why water pipes burst and the preventative measures you can take to avoid a burst pipe.

Common Causes of Burst Pipes

A burst pipe can happen for a number of reasons, with the resulting damage causing stress as you contend with the situation. Here is a look at what could cause your water pipes to burst.

Extreme Temperatures

Freezing temperatures and excessive heat can make water pipes burst. While freezing is less common in the southern parts of Florida, cold temperatures can lead to frozen pipes. When water freezes, it expands, causing water pipes to develop cracks or break.

Pipes are most vulnerable to freezing when they are exposed to areas that are not temperature controlled, allowing the cold weather and cold temperatures to cause this damage. The best way to prevent frozen pipes when a deep freeze sets in is to be sure they are insulated.

Aging and Deterioration

When water pipes age, they are more prone to wear and tear, structural damage, and corrosion within the pipe walls. All of these things can weaken your pipes and make them more likely to experience bursting. If your commercial property is older, it should be a huge concern of yours to prevent water pipe bursts.

Older materials can’t stand up to today’s plumbing systems, and it may be in your best interests to keep up with regular maintenance to stay on top of these things. Even better, replacing older piping with PVC or copper pipes can help make your plumbing system more effective and durable.

Excessive Water Pressure

When a business or home’s water pressure is excessive, it puts more strain on your pipes and the other parts of your plumbing system. High water pressure can be caused in a number of ways, including faulty pressure regulators from your municipal supply, closed valves, and issues with water pumps. Even sudden changes in water demand can increase water pressure enough to inflict water pipe damage through leaks and bursts.

When pressure increases, high water pressure may be too much for your pipes to handle, resulting in a burst pipe. A professional plumber can install a pressure reducing valve to help keep water pressure at the proper levels.

Changes in Structural Integrity

Stress placed on the foundation of your business through shifts in the soil can push or pull this system around. Sometimes, this is caused by natural changes to the levels of moisture in the soil while other times, it could be due to nearby excavation or construction projects. The pressure this situation creates can easily lead to burst pipes.

Tree Root Intrusion

In South Florida, tree roots are a common source of plumbing issues, often resulting in burst pipes. Roots that grow underneath your plumbing system put pressure on the system, leading to pipe damage. If you are setting up a new commercial property, it is imperative that you plant all trees and shrubs far enough away from your pipes. These roots are often too strong to be deterred by water pipes and will put pressure on them as they continue to grow, causing your water pipe to burst.

Poor Installation

Bursting pipes may also be the result of improper installation. Pipes need to be positioned correctly. They also need to be fitted with correct sizing and jointing. A water hammer is more likely to affect pipes that weren’t installed right, making them vibrate and eventually leading them to rupture.

Another issue with installation that was not done correctly is pipes becoming clogged. This affects how they drain and flow correctly.

Closeup of an old rusty leaking pipe

Consequences That Arise from Burst Water Pipes

Unfortunately, when pipes burst, it is an urgent matter that requires immediate attention to minimize damage. In commercial buildings, water leaks should be your biggest concern. Staying on top of things to detect any leak that arises and get it repaired quickly will help you avoid much of the damage caused by burst pipes.

Water Damage and Loss

When water pressure is too much for your pipes, it can burst everywhere and cover every square inch of your property at a rapid pace. Your merchandise, important documents, and every aspect of your business will be at risk for damage from water flow after a burst pipe.

Potential Health Hazards

If you have a leak in your pipes that hasn’t yet burst, it can cause mold and mildew growth to slowly permeate your facilities. These things can lead your employees and your customers to get sick or experience irritations for conditions such as asthma.

Disruption to Your Business Operations

If you have severe water damage, especially the kind that leads to flooding, it may take days or even weeks to undo this damage and make your business habitable again. This down time can be disastrous for your profits.

Costly Repairs and Restoration

Water damage is expensive to handle, though these repairs and restorations are necessary to get back up and running again. If you are concerned about bursting pipes, you should read on to find out the best preventative measures to take to protect your commercial property.

Ways to Prevent Having a Burst Pipe

Protecting your business in every way possible is a key aspect of being a business owner. To ensure you do your best to avoid bursting pipes, you should contact a plumbing specialist who can help you take the right preventative measures.

This may include insulating any vulnerable areas of your pipes, monitoring your water pressure and keeping it under control, and undergoing regular maintenance and inspections. Additionally, if there are plentiful trees on your commercial property, it is also a great idea to consider root barrier installation to keep roots from inflicting damage on your pipes.

If you are having a new business property constructed, you should choose a reputable plumbing company to make the installation. They will have experience with proper plumbing insulation and material selection to give you the most durable design.

Every year, set up a date to have your plumbing company come out for preventative maintenance. It’s much easier and more affordable to stay ahead of issues this way and make repairs to minor problems before they literally burst through the walls. In the event that you need professional pipe repair or have to get pipes replaced, Coastal Commercial Services can help you with your commercial plumbing needs.

Coastal Commercial Services is a family-owned business with over two decades of experience and deep industry knowledge to address even the most complicated plumbing issues and emergencies. Contact us today to get the expertise you need for your pipes.