How Does Hot Weather Affect Plumbing (Plus Common Summer Plumbing Problems Homeowners Face)
Weather changes do not just affect your health; they can affect your plumbing system, too. While most people know that freezing cold weather is hard on plumbing, not many are aware of the potential plumbing problems summer heat can cause. Therefore, we thought it would be good to discuss it so you’re informed and prepared to deal with any plumbing emergency should it arise.
How Does Summer Heat Impact Your Plumbing System?
When the temperature rises above a certain level, the metal pipes that make the core structure of your plumbing system begin to expand due to excessive heat. This puts the pipes at risk of breaking, especially if they are old.
The parts of your plumbing system exposed to direct sunlight are also at risk of UV damage during summer. The effects of it may not be visible immediately, but over time, it leads to pipes’ degradation and causes your plumbing system to age and deteriorates prematurely. To protect your pipes from UV damage, wrap the ones exposed to the direct sun with protective insulation, just as you would in freezing cold weather. Insulation protects your pipes from both cold and hot weather.
Another way summer heat can impact your plumbing system is by loosening the soil underneath your house, which, in turn, could lead to the settling of the home. This is more likely to happen in homes built on a slab. Settling of soil and house can cause the pipes underneath to burst. These are what we call ‘slab leaks’ that can lead to mold growth in homes and, if not fixed, may even collapse the foundation of a house.
Common Plumbing Problems Caused by Hot Weather
Now that we know how summer heat can impact your home’s plumbing, let’s quickly look at the various issues it can lead to.
Here’s what all you can experience with regard to plumbing during the hot weather:
Pipe leaks can happen for a variety of reasons. Hot weather is one of them. As mentioned above, high temperatures cause the metal pipes to expand, putting them at risk of developing cracks, which leads to plumbing leaks.
Increased water use during summer can also put too much pressure on your plumbing system and cause leaks.
While you may not be able to do much for expanding pipes except wrapping the exterior ones, you may prevent leaks due to high pressure by limiting your water use on the hottest days. Avoiding using multiple water sources at the same time is another way to prevent excessive plumbing pressure.
Plumbing leaks are not always visible but are often easy to detect. Some of the most common signs of water leaks include damp spots, stains, and/or bulges on the walls or ceiling, mold growth, and higher water bills without any increase in consumption.
The best way to check for a plumbing leak is to turn off all water sources around the home and then check the water meter. If it’s still running, you have a leak.
- Low Water Pressure
This isn’t directly associated with hot weather but is a common complaint in summer, as it is often a result of plumbing leaks. However, sometimes low water pressure could simply be due to increased water use during summer.
- Tree Roots Infiltration
It’s no news that warm weather is the peak growing season for most plants. When plants are in the active growth phase, they need plenty of sunlight, nutrients, and water. Considering that the water content in soil reduces during hot weather, the tree roots spread farther underground, towards the nearby water source. If you have trees in your yard or around your house, your plumbing pipes are often the nearest water source for them. The tree roots grow towards your pipes and may infiltrate them through the tiniest of space. And once the roots infiltrate the pipes, they can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. The issues that arise as a result can range from (depending on the extent of the problem, i.e., root infiltration) minor clogs and slow drains to completely blocked drains and sewer backups.
Protect Your Plumbing System from Hot Weather Damage
You might not be able to avert the risk of summer heat damage to your plumbing system completely. Still, you can reduce it significantly by performing a detailed inspection of your plumbing system and fixing any faults and impending issues before the summer season strikes in full force. Don’t forget to clean your drains and insulate the outdoor pipes directly exposed to the sun.
These few things can help you prepare your plumbing system for summer heat and potentially avoid big problems that often require costly repairs.
Let Us Help!
If all this summer prep work sounds difficult or you do not have time for it, call us!
We at Bob Hoegler Plumbing have a large team of experienced plumbers that can help prepare your home for the summer heat. We can inspect, identify, and repair, ensuring your plumbing system is in good shape before the mercury on the thermometer rises, putting it at risk of damage. If you’re looking for a reliable plumbing service in New Jersey, call us at 732.595.2078.
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