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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Slow Pipe Leak vs. Burst Pipe and the Damage They Cause

11/11/2022 (Permalink)

A woman calls for help as she discovers a burst pipe inside her wall. Leaking pipes, no matter the size, should be cause for some alarm.

Any type of water leak or flood can devastate to a home, so it's important to be prepared for them. Nothing should be ignored, from major problems like burst pipes to minor problems like pipe leaks that are frequently dismissed; they can pose serious risks and significantly damage your home. 

A slow pipe leak is just as damaging as a burst pipe because both can have severe structural, financial, and health consequences. These issues should be addressed immediately to protect your home, family, and other possessions.

Slow Pipe Leak vs Burst Pipe

A slow pipe leak can cause as much, if not more, damage than a burst pipe. Slow pipe leaks can go undetected for a long time, causing significant damage to your home. 

A burst pipe can cause flooding in minutes, but slowly leaking pipes can go undetected for weeks, months, or even years. The unawareness of this water damage makes it so dangerous. It can cause structural damage to your home's walls and ceiling, which can be fatal in the event of an accident.

A slow pipe leak can also be hazardous to one's health because the damp areas created by water seepage can encourage mold growth, a type of fungus that can spread quickly if not treated on time. 

Mold growth can cause mild health problems like runny nose, cough, eye irritation, headache, wheezing, sneezing, sore throat, etc., or more serious ones like aspergillosis, sporotrichosis, lung irritation, histoplasmosis, etc. People with pre-existing illnesses such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, etc., are more prone to its effects.

Burst pipes, leaking pipes, and poorly fitted appliances can lead to water damage, which can be disastrous to a property.

Warning Signs

With a burst pipe, the signs are obvious and instantaneous, like flooding, but for slow pipe leaks, discovering it immediately is difficult, and you may notice it much later after it has damaged your home, destroyed your belongings, and affected your and your family's health.

However, there are a few warning signs you can look out for detecting slow pipe leaks in your home. They include the following:

Increased Utility Bill on Water Usage

The simplest way to detect a slow pipe leak is to check your water bill or meter. Consciously observing your water bill can alert you to a potential pipe leak, and you can then look for other signs and prepare to prevent further damage.

Wall and Ceiling Deterioration

Check for cracks in your walls or ceilings, distorted, deformed, or bowed panels, wobbling wallpaper, lifting edges, etc. These signs indicate that your plasterboard has absorbed a significant amount of moisture due to water seepage from the leaking pipe; it should be replaced immediately.

A Drop in Water Pressure

A drop in your home's water pressure is another sign of a pipe leak. When there's a leak, the water pressure in other parts of your home may drop. If you notice this, try to look around and if you can't find it, call a professional.

Poorly fitted washing machines and dishwashers can also cause water leaks. If they're not installed properly, water may leak out and affect nearby areas. Puddles forming around vinyl flooring, warping or buckling of real or laminated wood, and water or salt marks on adjacent walls are warning signs.

If you notice any of these leak signs, fix the problem immediately to avoid further damage. You may be tempted to believe that a minor leak isn't a big deal and that it's easy to rectify. However, minor leaks can quickly escalate into larger problems and plumbing issues. The sooner it's repaired, the safer your home or company will be.

If you suspect a slow pipe leak, please call SERVPRO at (225) 753-3434 for assistance. We're here to help!

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