Everyone knows how cold winters can get in Kansas City, and by now, you may be used to hearing the age-old advice of draining your faucets to prevent damage to your home water lines.
Dripping faucets in the cold winter is one of the most common reminders that your water lines exist. Often this system is taken for granted as it is out of sight and therefore out of mind. Homeowners tend to be more observant of water line issues during winter months. The risk is that only being vigilant during winter can mean water line issues that arise throughout the year go unnoticed and are then exacerbated during the winter.
Water lines are only as strong as their weakest link. Small damages or disruptions to the water line may result in decreased water pressure but otherwise may not give an early indication that there is an issue. As water flows out of the broken pipe, it can soften the surrounding sediments and cause further property damage.
The fact that our home water line installations are underground does not mean they are immune from the damage that comes from age and changes in conditions such as extreme cold, shifting sediment, or tree roots.
How is a Water Line Damaged?
Damage to your water line can occur either due to wear on the pipe from years of service or from outside elements disrupting the line by preventing water flow or damaging the pipe and causing a leak to form. Any material used to construct a water pipe, such as copper, PVC, or in some older homes, galvanized steel or iron, will inevitably deteriorate over time and reach a point where it will not hold the water at pressure.
Common sources of water line damage include:
- Rapid changes in temperature like freezing in winter
- Shifting sediment placing strain on pipes
- Deterioration due to age
- Invasive tree roots that cause breaks in the water line
- Changes in water pressure in the water line
A mindful homeowner will want to try and prevent damage from happening, but in many cases, damage can occur despite taking precautions. Potential sources of damage will also vary depending on the location of your water line installation. Damages can occur underground and out of sight, so you must know what to look for to identify if you have a damaged water line.
Symptoms of a Damaged Water Line Installation
Whether you’ve noticed lighter pressure from your showerhead, or discolored water coming out of your kitchen sink, you may have already experienced signs that you have a break in your water line. Some signs may indicate a recent issue, and some will mean damage has been growing for some time. To preserve your home’s water line, damage should be identified as early as possible to prevent greater problems and repairs.
Your Water Bill Is Too High
If you’ve noticed an increase in your monthly water bill, it may indicate an unseen leak in your water line installation. It is unfortunate that if a homeowner cannot identify this issue early, they will likely see a sudden, larger increase in their bill as small damage grows to affect more of the water line. There are few things worse than just throwing money away, and watching your water bills can help save your money and then some.
Household Water is Murky or Discolored
If the water coming out of a single faucet is discolored or murky, there may be a break in the individual water line for that part of the home. If discolored water is coming out of multiple faucets in your home, it indicates a break further down towards the main line. In either case, anything but clear water from any source in your home may represent water line damage.
Low Water Pressure
As even a small break in your water line installation will affect water pressure to some degree, one of the surest signs you may need to call a specialist is low water pressure in your home. If your shower suddenly hardly puts out enough water to use or if one or more taps spit out after you turn it on, there is likely a leak somewhere in your water line.
Mold, Visible Water, and Lawn Damage
Finally, when a leak has grown large enough to spread, you may notice visible symptoms of water line damage. The smell or appearance of mold or visible water puddles or sinkholes appearing on your lawn will eventually reveal water line damage. As these signs can indicate an already widespread or severe problem, no homeowner should delay contacting a specialist.
Get Help with Your Water Line Installation
If you notice some of these common symptoms of water line damage, you may need repairs or a new water line installation. Our licensed experts are here to help you identify, assess, and correct damage to your water line. Homeowners in the greater Kansas City area who have any doubts about their water line or overall system health should contact us today!