Winter is often the time of year when we want to spend quality time with our families and friends without worrying about potentially catastrophic things like water main leaks. However, every property owner is at a greater risk of their water main leaking in the colder months. Below, we’re going to review what a water main leak is, why they happen more often in the winter, and why you should get yours inspected.

What is a Water Main Leak?

A water main on your property is what connects you to the public water system. It often runs from a large distribution pipe in the street, and into your facility or home through a foundation wall or up through your slab.

A water main leak is any leak that occurs in this section of pipe. Since water pressure is very high throughout the water main, even a relatively small leak can cause severe property damage and lead to very costly repairs.

Why They Happen More Frequently in Winter

Colder weather means colder or even frozen ground, both of which can lead to water main damage that isn’t as large of a threat in the summer. Soil shifts upward in a process called frost heave when moisture captured in the dirt freezes. Heaving can put added pressure on your already stressed or aging water main and cause leaks.

Additionally, the water in the soil above the water main freezes in colder weather, putting more weight and downward pressure on your pipes.

Pressure from any direction on your water main can put a strain on the pipe joints, leading to more frequent leaking, especially in older systems.

Risk of Not Getting Your Water Main Inspected

Depending on your municipality and the water authority in your area, you are typically responsible for water main repairs on your property, regardless if it is before the meter. These can be very expensive because of the large amount of excavation needed to reach the pipes.

Property, facility, or homeowners should go to every measure possible to prevent water main leaks and to catch leaking early when suspicious. When you’re ready to check your water main for leaks and potentially prevent severe property damage and repair costs, contact one of our highly-trained water main leak experts to have a non-invasive water main leak detection completed.