Preventing Damage From Burst Pipes or Plumbing

When you own your home, you take on responsibility for all of the repairs on the property. These can become costly, and with some simple steps, you can recognize problems and avoid expensive repairs. One troublesome and expensive issue that can occur is a pipe burst. You will not only have to fix the pipes, but you will have to repair any water or flood damage. Here are some tips on preventing flooding from burst pipes or water heater explosions.

What Causes Pipes to Burst?

One reason pipes burst is because the water inside of the pipes freezes. Frozen water expands, causing the pipes to burst. Water generally freezes at 32 degrees, but it can happen in warmer weather, too, in the right circumstances. We know freezes are pretty rare in Austin, but it does happen a few times per year.

Cold weather isn’t the only reason that pipes can burst. Older homes may have galvanized steel pipes that can become clogged with sediment making the pipe susceptible to bursting. Newer homes use copper, PEX, or PVC pipes. Foundation settling and movement of your pipes can also cause pipes to burst. The pipe connections can also break if not sealed or connected with the proper materials and equipment.

Finally, poor installation can also create problems. Selecting and using an unlicensed or unverified plumber can save money on the initial project but often causes problems later on. Before hiring them, always look into your plumber by reading reviews online or asking friends and family for recommendations. When you get pipes installed, be sure to ask about a warranty that comes with the work.

Get a Quote

For a quote, fill out the info below, or call us 24/7 at (512) 698-8444

Get a Quote

How Can You Tell if Your Pipes Might Burst?

One of the most prominent signs of frozen pipes is the water running very slowly. Slow water can be caused by ice in your pipes. If you notice it getting worse and temps are near or below freezing, take action right away. It would be best if you also looked for any frost on your pipes. If you don’t have easy access to your pipes, call a licensed plumber.

Be mindful of what areas in your home are most vulnerable. Pipes on the exterior walls of your property or in garages or sheds are closest to the cold, so they are the most likely to freeze first.

What Can You Do to Prevent Burst Pipes?

There are several things you can do to help protect your pipes from bursting.

  1. Get your pipes and home insulated. – Insulate your home to keep the outside air outside and the inside air inside. Insulation prevents cold weather outside from affecting your home. You can also insulate your pipes. Your local licensed plumber can help you accomplish this. Getting your pipes insulated is common in the Northern states, where cold weather is frequent. It’s not as common in Southern states where the temperature is generally warmer.
  2. Keep the heat on when you leave. – Many people turn the heat off when they leave to save money. Leaving your thermostat set low is especially common when people go on vacation. Water damage will cost far more than keeping your furnace set at a reasonable temperature. Keep the heat on while you’re gone to keep your home and pipes from freezing. Many people suggest not letting the temperature in your home get lower than about 60 degrees.
  3. Check your water heater and get repairs done immediately. – Often, people need to prioritize items to fix in their homes. Your water heater should always be at the top of the list. Not only are cold showers in the winter horrible, but water heater explosions can also cause water and other damage to your home and surrounding structures.
  4. Replace damaged plumbing. – Plumbing doesn’t last forever. The age depends on several factors, but you can tell when it needs to be replaced when you notice leaks or a large amount of rust. Get the repairs done before the winter starts since that is a more stressful time on plumbing.
  5. Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinets doors open. – While it might not seem like much, it can be helpful to keep the cabinets open and allow the warm air in your home to hit the pipes and keep them warm.

Keeping Leaks From Turning into Floods

You may get lucky and only experience a small leak before you have a real problem. Take action immediately before the problem escalates. First, turn off the master valve in your home. As more pressure is applied, the bigger the leak can become. Document any damage that has already occurred if you need to file a claim with your insurance company. Finally, you need to call a licensed plumber to investigate and fix the leak.

What to Do if Your Pipes Burst

Sometimes, you don’t realize you have a problem until it’s too late.

If a pipe has already burst, you want to stop the water from flowing as soon as possible. Turn off the water supply right away to prevent further plumbing damage. Next, call a licensed plumber right away. If you have water damage, after the plumber fixes the problem, you will have to repair the damage caused. Contact a water damage restoration company.

Total Restoration responded very quickly to our situation. We had a broken water line to a water heater that had been running all night in our guest house. Within and hour - we live outside of the Austin area -of my call Ryan evaluated the situation and called for reinforcements. Great communication on every level, and Kylie helped me deal with the insurance company. Hope to never have to use them again, but would in heartbeat if necessary. Highly, recommend!
Catherine C.
We called Total Restoration late on a Friday evening to deal with a second-floor burst pipe. Ryan and his team responded immediately and began work to...
Dave G.
During the Feb '21 winter freeze, a cap blew off of a pipe in the middle of the night. Within an hour, I awoke to flooding throughout my entire house. I called more water mitigation companies than I can count and ended up on 12 waitlists. Once roads opened up, Total Restoration of Texas was the first company who had the means and the equipment to help. All the others were short-staffed and under-equipped to fill the enormous needs of our community. I got a 9:30 pm text from Kylie, the office manager. She apologized for the late contact and asked if I still need help. (Ummm... Yes, please!) Ryan was out the next day. He managed all of the water mitigation. From the inspection to the demo to the dry out, he was there. They all had to be working 80 hours/week, and they did it all with a smile. Then came insurance. Whew! Kylie handled most of it and let me know when I needed to step in. Boy, she sure knows the ropes when it comes to dealing with insurance! I hope I never have to go through this again, but if I do, Total Restoration of Texas will be the first people I call. They are professional, they took care of my home and belongings, and they took care of me when I needed help with my insurance company. Thank you!
Pamela T.
We had an emergent issue with water flooding and Total Restoration of Texas was a Godsend. They offered to come out earlier than I initially requested,...
Cara R.
Ryan acted fast to come out and take care of my water damage. It was tough to have a leak right before Christmas, but Ryan was empathetic and worked with me on trying to make the best of the situation
Ryan J.
Very fast service, super professional, was able to pinpoint another issue with termites on top of cleaning up the mold. Highly recommend
Huan J.
Kyle and his team were professional and efficient. Easy to work with and took care of us. Much appreciated.
John G.
Jason and team are great to work with, do super high quality work, and are very professional/trustworthy both in being in our house throughout the day and...
Brandon A.
Professional & courteous service
Julia K.

We provide the following services, from start to finish

Beyond your walls and ceilings, we’ll also take care of every little thing that matters.

  • Content Inventory, Cleaning, and Storage
  • Electronics Cleaning
  • Furniture Repair
  • Photo / Art Repair and Restoration

We restore flood-damaged homes and offices in these Austin-area communities:

  • Austin
  • Bee Cave
  • Buda
  • Cedar Park
  • Georgetown
  • Kyle
  • Lakeway
  • Leander
  • Lockhart
  • New Braunfels
  • Pflugerville
  • Rollingwood
  • Round Rock
  • San Marcos
  • Sunset Valley
  • West Lake Hills

Water damage? Let us handle the mess.

Drop us a line today or call for a quote!