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Proactive Solutions to Prevent Leaks & Pipe Bursts

Leaking and burst pipes can cause significant water damage to properties, resulting in expensive repairs and disruption to daily life. You can prevent leaks and burst pipes by taking proactive measures. And by implementing these solutions from United Water Restoration Long Island, you can save time, money, and stress in the long run.
 

Routine Inspections: Stay on Top of Potential Problems

A good habit to get into, and one of the most effective ways to prevent leaks and pipe bursts, is to inspect your property regularly. That includes both the interior and exterior plumbing systems. A thorough inspection includes checking for:

  • Any signs of visible water leaks.
  • Exposed pipes and signs of wear and tear, such as rust or corrosion, and aging pipe fittings.
  • Discolored or damp walls or floors.
  • Puddles of standing water near water fixtures.
  • Drips coming from faucets and fixtures.
  • Potential leaks or faulty connections from appliances, like washing machines and dishwashers.
  • Gaps or deterioration around sinks, tubs, and showers (may need caulking and sealing).
  • Toilet leaks and old or worn-out flappers (valve seal).
  • Signs of leaks, corrosion, or unusual noises coming from your water heater.
  • Outdoor leaks from your in-ground irrigation system, garden hose, and spigot.
  • Mushy ground near your foundation.
  • Cracks in your foundation.

Most common leaks are quick to find and fix. Some leaks, such as those in underground pipes or behind walls, may go undetected for months or even years. Regular inspections and maintenance can help to identify leaks before they cause a disaster.

signs of leaks, water-damaged wall, leaky faucet, rusty pipe, and drain pipe leaking water

The Facts on Leaks

WaterSense, a program created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), promotes water efficiency and conservation, helping consumers save water, energy, and money while protecting the environment. According to the EPA, a typical household leak can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted each year. That is equivalent to the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry. Here are other facts:

  • 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more of water.
  • Minor water leaks account for nearly 1 trillion gallons of wasted water, equal to annual household water use in approximately 11 million homes.
  • A faucet dripping once per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water annually.
  • A shower with a drip rate of 10 times per minute can waste more than 500 gallons of water yearly.

The cost of water wasted due to leaks can add up quickly. Fixing household leaks can save a homeowner 10% on their water bills. And replacing old toilets with WaterSense models can save 13,000 gallons of water for the average family.

water leaking out of a copper pipe

The High Costs of Water Damage

Before diving into the solutions, we will discuss the gravity of the problem. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, the average cost for a water damage claim is around $10,000. Moreover, water damage is one of the most common reasons for insurance claims, accounting for 28% of homeowners insurance losses.

These statistics highlight the need for preventative actions to stop leaks and pipe bursts before they lead to costly damage.

Monitor Your Water Bill

An unexplained increase in your water bill may indicate a hidden leak within your home. Monitoring it can help you identify a potential problem early on.

  • Check your water bill each month for sudden increases in usage.
  • If you suspect a leak, contact a plumber for an inspection.

Be Mindful of Your Home’s Water Pressure

High water pressure can cause stress on your pipes, increasing the likelihood of a pipe burst. A water pressure gauge can help determine if your water pressure is within safe limits.

  • Your water pressure should be between 40 and 60 pounds per square inch.
  • Adjust your pressure regulator if it exceeds safe limits.
  • If your pressure regulator is not adjustable, consider hiring a plumber to install a pressure-reducing valve.

 

Invest in Pipe Insulation: Avoid Freezing and Bursting

During winter, pipes exposed to colder temperatures are more susceptible to freezing and bursting. When the water freezes, it expands and puts pressure on the pipe walls, which can cause them to crack, rupture, or burst. And that ends up causing a mess. While this is not concerning in warmer climates, it is for Long Island property owners, especially those occupying older homes and buildings. Insulation can minimize the risk of this happening.

  • Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas of your home, such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces.
  • Use pipe sleeves, heat tape, or thermostatically controlled heat cables.
  • Insulate wall cavities where pipes are exposed.

Insulated pipes lose less heat, making your hot water system more energy-efficient, and pipe insulation can help reduce condensation that can lead to mold and mildew.

placing insulation around pipe

Keep Your Home Warm: Maintain a Consistent Temperature

In addition to pipe insulation, maintaining a consistent temperature in your home or business can help prevent freezing and potential bursts. Extreme temperature changes can cause pipes to expand and contract, leading to cracks and leaks. Follow these guidelines to protect your pipes during colder months:

  • Maintain a minimum temperature of 55 degrees in your home, even if you are away.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate the pipes.
  • Keep your property insulated and sealed to minimize heat loss, which can contribute to colder indoor temperatures.

By following these preventive measures, you can protect your property from the devastating effects of Old Man Winter.
 

Know Where Your Main Water Shut-Off Valve Is

In the event of a leak or pipe burst, it’s crucial to know where your home’s main water shut-off valve is. By turning off the main water supply, you can minimize the amount of water damage that occurs.

  • Locate your main shut-off valve, commonly found near the water meter or where the main water line enters your home or building.
  • Ensure everyone in your household knows the location of the shut-off valve.
  • Consider investing in an automatic shut-off valve that activates when a water leak is detected.
company tag on a main shut-off valve

Implement Leak Detection Systems: Catch Leaks Early

A leak detection system can help you identify water leaks before they become a nuisance.

Smart water monitors: Devices can analyze your water usage, detect leaks, and even automatically shut off the water supply if an issue is detected.

Water alarm sensors: These sensors can be placed in areas susceptible to leaks, like basements and under appliances, and will sound an alarm when they come into contact with water.

Whether a leaky pipe or appliance water-line failure, a leak defense system gives you direct control over protecting your property and possessions. It can monitor everyday water usage, save you from flooding, and offer peace of mind.
 

Let United be part of the solution! Get in touch with us today to learn more about smart water leak detectors and how you can have one installed in your home or business.


 

Schedule Regular Maintenance and Plumbing Inspections

Having your plumbing system inspected and maintained by a professional is an excellent way to prevent leaks and pipe bursts.

  • Schedule an annual inspection by a licensed plumber.
  • Immediately address any plumbing issues.
  • Have your pipes cleaned by a professional to prevent built-up debris or mineral deposits.

Regular inspections and maintenance are keys to keeping your plumbing system running smoothly.

closeup of plumber fixing a pipe with a wrench

Fix A Leak Week

The EPA WaterSense program provides resources to consumers, such as a Fix a Leak Week campaign each March. The initiative encourages homeowners to check their plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks. Additionally, the program offers tips for detecting and repairing leaks, such as checking for dripping faucets, running toilets, and leaky showerheads. They also guide consumers on how to select WaterSense-labeled products designed to prevent leaks and save water.

Final Thoughts

Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to prevent water damage from pipe bursts and leaks, such as conducting regular inspections of your property, investing in pipe insulation, maintaining a consistent indoor temperature, and implementing a leak detection system.

By being proactive and taking anticipatory steps, you can protect your property from the devastating effects of leaks and pipe bursts. And if you do experience a loss, never hesitate to call United for 24/7 emergency mitigation and restoration services.

  • Water Damage Water Damage Mitigation
  • Mold Damage Mold Remediation & Restoration
  • Fire damage Smoke & Fire Damage Restoration
  • Decon Services Cleaning & Disinfecting

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