How does extreme heat affect your plumbing?

While extremely cold temperatures cause the water in your pipes to freeze and expand, heat causes your actual pipe, plastic or metal, to expand and in extreme cases this can lead to cracks, leaks and pipes bursting. Should you be concerned? Not necessarily, but as the summer months bring heat waves, there are a few things you should keep in mind to maintain your drain system and avoid plumbing mishaps. 

Primary Heat Damage 

When it comes to extreme heat, there are a couple of ways this can affect or damage your plumbing system. Primary heat damage is how the rising temperature directly impacts your pipes and system. 

UV Damage

UV rays make a negative impact on more than just our skin. Overtime direct sun exposure can cause your pipes to become weak, brittle and warped. During winter months, exposed pipes should be protected with a proper layer of insulation but this is also true for the hot summer months. Though UV Damage to pipes isn’t something that will become noticeable right away, it is sure to occur over time as unprotected pipes eventually become weakened by direct heat. Taking steps to prevent UV damage to your exposed pipes is the most cost effective solution, but if you notice that your pipes look worn from the heat, call in a plumber for inspection before the matter gets out of hand.

Leaks, Cracks or Bursting Pipes.

The exposed pipes in your plumbing system are not the only pipes you should worry about. During the hot summer months, the pipes running underground are also at an increased risk of developing cracks and even bursting. That is because as the sun beams on the ground, the soil in your yard becomes parched and dry. This can cause shifting in the foundation of your home which inevitably affects the pipes running under your property. If your pipes are older and fragile, these shifts can be detrimental to your plumbing system’s integrity. 

Summer heat usually means your sprinkler system and garden hose see more usage which can also mean excessively high water pressure for your pipes. This puts your plumbing system under more stress and in a vulnerable spot, increasing the chances that cracks and leaks may develop.

Be on the lookout for warm water that comes out of cold taps, unusual spikes in your water bill and low water pressure. These can point to a leak somewhere in your plumbing system. 

Secondary Heat Damage 

Secondary heat damage refers to indirect ways that summer activities and hot temperatures affect your plumbing system and can potentially pose problems down the line.

Root infiltration

During the warm summer months, most plants and trees reach their peak growing season. As the soil becomes dry, your roots expand in search for water and may become very attracted to your pipes where they sense the water, nutrients, and oxygen they need to thrive. Slow draining toilets, gurgling sounds, clogged pipes, unpleasant sewer odors or sinkholes are among the most common warning signs that tree roots have made themselves at home, inside your pipes. There are steps you can take to prevent roots from invading your pipes, but if this occurs, call a plumber immediately. Such a rich source of nutrients will give your roots more strength and will, to grow further into your plumbing system. 

Drain Clogs

Let’s face it – drain clogs are the number one plumbing issue year round. But understanding how summer activities impact your drains can help you lower your risk of encountering a clog, so you have more time to lay out by the pool. While BBQs, cookouts and deliciously refreshing summer fruits sound delightful to us, they can turn out to be a nightmare for your drain if you abuse your garbage disposal. Summer plumbing issues include all you beach bums who shower off sand down your drains. Where does this sand go? No where. It mostly stays inside your drain pipes. This also includes tanning oils that end up down your drain lines. They’re not good for the ocean and they are not good for your pipes, increasing your chances of buildup and blockage. 

Your plumbing system is already working harder to accommodate your sprinkler system and neglecting your drains in the process, will cause nasty clogs.

Winter or summer, rain or shine here at VIP Sewer and Drain Services our skilled and experienced professionals are ready to assist you with your plumbing needs, so that you can enjoy your summer break without the plumbing hassles. 

If you have any emergency plumbing need, simply call our 24 hour emergency service line