REALITY CHECK: whether your property is older or new, sooner or later there will be a leak.
Common causes of leaks are:
1. Pressure on pipes from:
+ Heaving soil caused by freeze and thaw
+ Soil settlement or erosion caused by rain, runoff water, or pipe leak.
+ Expansive/ contractive soils due to moisture content.
+ Poor compaction of backfill or backfill that contains rocks or construction debris
+ Old and deteriorated galvanized pipes are susceptible to rust (especially at the joints). Over time these pipes can lose the galvanizing around the threads.
2. Copper pipes may be affected by municipal water service chemicals which cause pitting and pin hole leaks. If installed under a concrete slab without applying a protective sheathing, reaction to chemicals contained in the concrete can result in leaks.
3. PVC and CPVC pipes may leak or come apart if improperly connected, may crack if they have been exposed to sunlight (UV Rays).
4. Polybutal pipe may become crimped or scored causing a leak at connection. Polybutal will deteriorate if exposed to petroleum products or sunlight.
5. Pipes may freeze and then leak when they thaw. Pipes may freeze in vacant apartments, crawl spaces, at hose bibs or where air infiltrates in cracks against foundation. This may also occur when water pipes are on exterior walls or when underground pipes are not buried beneath the frost line.
There are many other causes of leaks and may vary by geographical area.