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Leaking Pipes: Problems, Causes, & Solutions

As a business or homeowner in St. Paul, the last thing you need is leaky pipes. The plumbing serves as a building’s circulatory system, bringing in clean water and taking away waste material. However, the very nature of their work puts plumbing under a lot of strain, and this constant wear and tear can lead to leaky pipes.

When you have a leaky pipe, water seeps into the walls and foundations, degrading and weakening fixtures critical to a building’s structural integrity. Most importantly, leaky pipes will eventually create a damp and moldy environment that can lead to several health issues. If you notice a leaky pipe in your home or business, contact McQuillan Bros for emergency plumbing services. Our company has specialized in commercial plumbing and residential plumbing for over 135 years. That’s why we’re Minnesota’s most trusted plumbing company.

Ultimately, prevention is key to avoiding plumbing nightmares. When a small plumbing problem arises, fix it immediately. The plumbers at McQuillan Bros recommend staying on top of your plumbing repairs to save you time and money. And to do that, you’ll have to know some of the most common causes of leaking pipes. This way, you can watch out for some of the signs of unhealthy plumbing and alert an emergency plumber in Minneapolis.

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Causes of Leaking Pipes

Leaky faucets and pipes should be addressed right away as they may be a symptom of a larger underlying issue such as:

Pipe Corrosion

Over time, pipes will undergo corrosion or deterioration, especially if they’re made out of a certain material. Piping made from copper and iron is more likely to corrode as the metal reacts with the water. While modern pipes are made from PVC, which is more corrosion-resistant, older pipes were usually made from metal and cannot withstand corrosion. Metallic corrosion can lead to discolored water with an unpleasant smell and odor and eventually result in clogged and leaky pipes.

Tree Roots

Roots may just be your plumbing’s biggest enemy, especially the pipes that transport waste material. Our friends at Gilmore Heating and Air, a heating and plumbing company in Sacramento, says that tiny cracks or loose joints in the piping will allow water vapor to escape into the soil, and as the tree roots search for moisture, they can force their way through the cracks and invade the pipe. If your building still has clay sewer pipes, you should be extremely wary of tree roots invasion. If this happens, you may first notice gurgling and a slow-flowing drain. Additionally, an underground pipe compromised by roots may result in extra green or lush patches of greenery, foul smells, and sinkholes. 

High Water Pressure.

Who doesn’t love super high water pressure? While it may feel great when you’re taking a shower, it gives your pipes quite the beating. As the water flies through your pipes, the high speed, and pressure exert put the pipes under immense strain. This can lead to pinhole leaks, which weaken the pipes’ structural integrity and increases their risk of bursting. Banging noises in the pipes, leaking faucets, running toilets, and quickly running out of hot water may be signs that the water pressure in your system is too high.

Extreme Temperature Changes

Extreme drops in temperature cause the water in pipes to freeze and expand, which increases the pressure pipes are under. If the pipes are put under enough pressure, they can crack or even burst.

What Happens if Leaky Pipes are Not Fixed?

Like most plumbing issues, leaky pipes require prompt attention from an emergency plumber in Minneapolis. Not only does a leaking pipe waste tons of water at your expense, but it will also affect the building’s structural integrity and the health of its occupants. A continuously leaking pipe inevitably leads to water damage and mold. While addressing mild cases of mold is quite straightforward, it becomes more difficult when there are mold spores in the air: it may trigger allergic reactions in some people, respiratory infections in others, and lead to negative long term health effects.

Water damage can result from even a tiny little leak as long as it isn’t addressed and fixed early enough. Depending on the leak’s size and how long it’s been going on, you may be looking at thousands of dollars’ worth of damage due to damaged wiring, gas lines. You’ll also have to worry about structural damage on top of that. Drywall, ceilings, and wooden floors may be warped from absorbing water leaking from a pipe, and eventually, deteriorate. Additionally, a history of water damage and even mold will ultimately drive the value of your property down.

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The Solution to Leaking Pipes

If your faucets produce discolored or smelly water, there is a sudden reduction in water pressure, or you notice stained or warped walls, you may have a leaking pipe. The best thing you could do is to contact an emergency plumber in Minneapolis. Leaking pipes are often indicative of a deeper issue, and only a professional will accurately fix the problem.
Do you suspect you have leaking pipes? Have questions concerning plumbing and heating in St. Paul, MN? Contact McQuillan Bros today for a free estimate.

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