Water damage is no small matter. Even a tiny leak can lead to damaged personal
belongings, ruined carpets, soggy furniture, and significant repairs that drain your wallet,
time, and energy. No homeowner needs that hassle — which is why preventing burst
pipes and leaks is so critical to preserving your home’s value and beauty — and your
own peace of mind.
This is especially important in Minnesota, where cold snaps can threaten your plumbing.
Freezing pipes can lead to burst pipes, which can lead to costly repairs. But even when
the weather isn’t cold, broken pipes and burst plumbing can still be a problem anytime
of the year.
Here are some important tips to help you protect your home from burst pipes, freezing
pipes, and other plumbing issues.
Common Causes of Burst Pipes
Several issues can result in pipes bursting in a home. Some of the most common
- Freezing pipes — Yes, cold weather is the number one thing that people think of
when they think of burst pipes. And there’s a good reason for this. When outdoor
temperatures drop below freezing, the water within your pipes can freeze,
increasing pressure against the pipe walls until they break.
- Rust — Metal pipes can corrode, especially when exposed to the minerals in
drinking water. As the metal rusts and is eaten away, the pipes weaken and
become more likely to crack or break.
- Improper installation — Sometimes, problems start because of a poorly
installed piece of plumbing. If not corrected early on, improper hookups, inferior
joints, and other issues related to faulty plumbing work will lead to leaks down the
- Physical damage to the pipe — There are other problems that lead to burst pipes,
including foundational issues that cause pipes to move out of place, tree roots pressing against plumbing,
and excessively high water pressure flowing through pipes.
11 Signs of Burst Pipes or a Plumbing Leak
Keep an eye out for these 11 symptoms of pipe problems—and if you see them,
address them quickly to head off further damage and limit potential costs.
1. Lack of running water — One of the most recognizable signs of frozen pipes is
turning on the faucet, only to have just a trickle or even no water at all. If you’re
not getting any water, especially in cold weather, your pipes are likely freezing
and in danger of bursting.
2. Water pressure changes — If your water pressure is lower than normal, it can
be a signal that there’s a hole in a pipe. As water leaks out through the break,
there’s less to reach your sink or shower.
3. Increased clogs — With a lack of proper water pressure come clogs. If your
sinks and toilets are backing up often, a broken pipe somewhere may be the
4. Aging plumbing — The older your plumbing is, the more susceptible it becomes
to age-related issues, including breaks, cracks, and accumulation of debris that
can eventually lead to leaks or cause holes to form.
5. Odd, unpleasant odors — When your plumbing is working properly, anything
that can carry an odor gets washed away. If you’re smelling anything that isn’t
normal, it may mean there’s a clog somewhere.
6. Water stains — Leaks can leave marks on ceilings and walls in your home.
These areas may also be damp, indicating the leak is fresh.
7. Standing water — Significant leaks and burst pipes can cause so much water
flow that you end up with puddles, standing water inside your home, or gushing
8. Discolored water — Brownish water may be the result of rusting pipes. If you’re
seeing discolored water flow frequently through one or more of your faucets or in
your toilets, the rust may be severe.
9. Weird sounds — Whistling, bubbling, or dripping sounds, especially in areas
where you wouldn’t normally hear such noises, can indicate a leak or broken
10. Unusually high water bills — If your water habits are the same as always but
your water bill is unusually high, there’s a good chance you have a leak.
11. Visible pipe damage — You may see frost on pipes in cold weather, or you may
see bulges, holes, or cracks in pipes any time of the year. These are all signs a
burst pipe may be imminent.
Ways to Prevent Burst Pipes and Other Plumbing Leaks
The best way to avoid burst pipes, freezing pipes, and other leaks is prevention. Follow
these tips, and you’ll be more likely to catch issues when they are small and easy to
- Inspect plumbing regularly — Check visible pipes to look for corrosion, mineral
buildup, and other signs of wear and tear that need attention. Look for signs that
you have excessive moisture in your home.
- Follow proper care — Pay attention to weather reports. If temperatures are
going to drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, take precautions. Open cabinets to
expose pipes to heated air. Leave a dripping faucet in more than one spot
throughout your home to help avoid freezing pipes.
- Add insulation — Be sure your pipes are properly insulated to keep them warm
and lessen the likelihood of freezing.
- Act fast — When you notice a problem with your plumbing, take action quickly
by hiring a pro to find the source of the leak.
Get Help to Eliminate Plumbing Problems Now
Burst pipes and other plumbing issues can be intimidating and frustrating. For peace of
mind, look for a caring, detail-oriented restoration company that provides great service.
At Iron River Construction, we believe you deserve stress-free home repairs and
renovations, so you fully enjoy your home and your life. Whether you need experienced
restoration for water damage, or are ready for an interior or exterior remodel, we’re here
to help. Our process is simple:
1. We listen to your concerns and provide a free, detailed estimate.
2. We design your home remodel plan so you know exactly what to expect.
3. You enjoy your lifestyle in a home you’re proud of.
Simply set your own appointment today — and start the process of enjoying your home
to the fullest.