Did Your Water Pipe Burst in the Summer? 7 Surprising Causes

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: March 20, 2024

Can pipes burst in warm weather?

Yes, and it happens more often than you might think. This plumbing disaster isn’t restricted to our cold Chicago winters.

Homeowners are usually caught off guard by burst pipes in the summer. You expect plumbing problems when the temperatures plummet. You don’t expect ruptured pipes to flood the house on a beautiful, warm day.

Why do pipes burst in the summer? What should you do when it happens in your home?

Our teams respond to calls for plumbing leak cleanup all summer long. We’ve put together this list of the most common warm-weather reasons pipes break. We’ve also included an overview outlining the best ways to handle this soggy scenario.

How Do Water Pipes Burst in the Summer? 7 Ways Good Plumbing Goes Bad

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Most of us use between 80 and 100 gallons of water every day. During warmer months, we shower and bathe more often, do more laundry and water our lawns. It all adds up to a big summer workload for our homes’ water systems. These seven problems can turn good pipes into hot-weather plumbing catastrophes.

1. Invasive Tree Roots

The deep roots on your favorite shade trees are naturally drawn to pinhole leaks in outdoor pipes. Over time, the roots exert enormous pressure on plumbing. They favor sewage lines, and that leads to broken pipes in the bathroom.

Power Tip: Sewage pipe problems should always be taken care of by certified professionals.

2. Extended Wet and Dry Spells

Too much rain leaves soil around the house soggy. A long dry spell causes it to loosen and shift. Buried plumbing doesn’t always hold up to this type of pressure, and its movement can result in ruptured pipes inside your home.

3. Rust in Metal Pipes

Metal plumbing develops rust that weakens pipe walls and affects joints and seals. Warm, wet weather speeds up the process making pipes vulnerable to fluctuating water pressure. Rusty pipes develop leaks and eventually burst.

Power Tip: Yellow or brown faucet water is usually a sign of rusted plumbing.

4. Wear and Old Age

Galvanized steel pipes tend to fail after 20 to 50 years. PVC pipes last much longer, but summertime activity like foundation work or nearby construction can cause breaks in all types of plumbing including copper and brass.

5. Hard Water Year-Round

Our water here in Illinois is classified as hard or very hard. High levels of magnesium and calcium build up inside pipes and slow down flow. With increased usage in the summer, pipes affected by hard water are more likely to break.

6. Clogs in Pipes

Cooking grease and laundry lint build up in pipes. Accumulated debris in sewage lines restricts flow and creates pipe-bursting clogs. Even water softener systems create plumbing problems.

Power Tip: Low water pressure can be a warning sign of clogs forming in pipes.

7. Substandard Repairs

Sometimes, it’s hard to catch a soldering job that’s not going to hold. Faulty pipe patches do more harm than good. Whether you did it yourself or hired a plumber, bad repairs can cause ruptured pipes in the summer.

Power Tip: Connect with an experienced plumber in your area before you need his or her services.

What Do You Do When a Pipe Bursts?

When a pipe breaks in the house, every minute counts. Take a little time now to become more familiar with your home’s plumbing. Stock up on DIY repair options just in case.

Follow these steps to control damages from a broken pipe.

• Immediately turn off your home’s water supply at the main cutoff valve.
• Drain pipes by running cold water faucets and flushing toilets.
• Locate and fix the break with epoxy putty or a pipe repair clamp.
• Thoroughly dry affected areas by running fans for two or three days.

If repairs and cleanup turn out to be more than you can handle, contact your insurance company. Most homeowners policies cover burst pipe water damage, and your agent can recommend a qualified restoration contractor.

Give Us a Call

We’re all looking forward to beautiful, warm weather here in Chicago, but it’s best to be prepared for the unexpected. By knowing what to look for, what to do and who to call, you minimize problems from ruptured pipes on a summer day.

Our teams are always ready to help you with burst pipes, water damage and repairs. We take care of it all, and we also offer certified mold remediation services. When a broken pipe at the house tries to ruin your summer, give us a call here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba.