Have a question?

184 Main Collins Street | West Victoria 8007
Follow us on Social media

Lorem ipsum proin gravida nibh vel velit auctor alique tenean sollicitudin.


Burst Pipe in the Attic? Here’s What to Do Right Now

When a pipe leaks under the kitchen sink, it’s a nuisance. When a water pipe bursts in the attic, it’s a disaster.

Soggy insulation makes it worse. Everything you’ve stored in the attic adds to the mess. While you try to figure out what to do first, water seeps through the floor, soaking ceilings and walls below.

You’ll have to clean up the attic later. Right now, you need to get the situation under control.

We can help. Our teams here at ServiceMaster of Lake Shore take care of burst pipe water damage across Chicago every day. We’re happy to share our expertise.

Let’s cover everything you need to know about burst pipes in your attic.

Why Do Pipes Burst in the Attic?

why pipes burst in attic

The space is great for storage, but many of your home’s water supply lines are also located in the attic. While things usually stay quiet overhead, pipes can suddenly burst and send water cascading into the rooms below.

These are the most common reasons why pipes in the attic burst.

  • Frigid temperatures outside that freeze water inside attic pipes
  • Water hammer generated by dishwashers and washing machines
  • Corrosion inside pipes due to mineral buildup
  • Older pipes that eventually weaken and develop cracks
  • Damage from constant water pressure fluctuations

7 Signs of a Water Leak in Your Attic


In some situations, a burst attic pipe starts with a small leak that doesn’t cause visible damage right away. This type of plumbing failure is often a warning before the pipe ruptures and floods the attic.

If you notice these signs of water leaking in the attic, check the pipes for potential breaks.

  1. Mold growing on attic interiors
  2. Damp insulation and storage boxes
  3. Wet spots under attic pipes
  4. An unpleasant musty smell
  5. Unusually high humidity
  6. Decrease in normal water pressure
  7. Unexpected increase in water bills

What to Do When a Pipe Bursts in the Attic


1. Turn Off the Main Water Supply

As soon as you realize there’s a burst pipe in the attic, turn off your home’s main water supply.

Most shutoff valves are located outside, near the street and next to the city’s water meter. However, some main valves are located in the basement. 

Power Tip: As soon as you’ve shut down the water supply, open several faucets inside to drain remaining water and reduce pressure in the lines.

2. Locate the Broken Pipe

A rupture in a pipe is often just a few inches in length. It can be hard to locate in the dark attic, so follow the visible signs of water damage, and use them to trace back to the pipe burst.

For example, estimate the distance between water stains on the downstairs ceiling and an exterior wall. Use that as a visual guide for navigating your way to the water leak source in the attic.

Power Tip: Remember that water runs downhill. If angled beams are streaked with water, the burst pipe may be several feet away and above the wet areas.

3. Patch the Burst

You can stop pipe leaks with DIY methods, but these are usually temporary fixes. A pipe repair clamp is the most effective way to patch a burst pipe.

Once you’ve gotten the leak under control, call a licensed plumber who can replace the damaged pipe and check adjacent lines for signs of trouble. 

Power Tip: If you’re not sure about how to fix the pipe, many plumbers offer 24-hour emergency services. 

4. Call Your Insurance Carrier

Homeowners insurance covers the cost of water-damage cleanup and restoration, even when it’s caused by a burst pipe. Call your insurance company, and ask about your policy’s details.

Be aware that insurance covers the water damage, but it doesn’t cover the cost of repairing the ruptured pipe.

Power Tip: Expedite the claims process with pictures documenting your water-damaged attic and contents.

5. Contact Restoration Professionals

You can clean up attic water damage yourself, but it’s a time-consuming project. Instead, contact a certified restoration company.

If you’re in the Chicago area, our teams here at ServiceMaster by Lake Shore offer water damage cleanup backed by more than 25 years of experience.

We handle everything, from mitigation and structural drying to mold removal and content cleaning. Our technicians take care of problems downstairs too, including water-damaged ceilings, walls and floors.

Power Tip: We also help you file your water damage insurance claim and speed up the settlement process.

How to Prevent Water Pipes From Bursting in the Attic


You can’t stop winter temperatures from plummeting, but you can reduce the chances of pipes freezing in the attic. These tips make a big difference.

  • Wrap pipes with foam insulation sleeves.
  • Make sure the entire attic is well insulated.
  • Caulk and seal any gaps in attic walls.
  • Let faucets drip during hard freezes.
  • Routinely inspect the condition of attic pipes.

Are You Dealing With Burst Attic Pipes in Chicago? We Can Help.

Once the burst pipe is fixed, you’re still facing cleanup that doesn’t always stop with the attic. You’re often dealing with water damage in ceilings and walls downstairs.

It’s a big job, but we’re ready to help, and we’re just around the corner.

ServiceMaster of Lake Shore proudly serves Chicago and all the North Shore suburbs. Our teams are here for you with comprehensive water damage cleanup and restoration year-round. 

Give us a call to request an inspection: 312-707-8597


Does homeowners insurance cover pipes that burst in the attic?

Homeowners insurance covers the cost of water damage cleanup after a pipe breaks in the attic. It doesn’t cover the actual cost of repairing the burst pipe.

What is the average cost to fix burst pipes in the attic?

The cost of burst attic pipe repair is usually calculated by the linear foot, averaging between $400 and $1,500. The cost of water damage restoration can add from $1,000 to $2,000 or more, depending on the extent of damages.

What kind of damage is caused by burst attic pipes?

Burst pipes in the attic spread water damage through the attic floor and down into rooms below. The results range from compromised wall and ceiling structures to extensive mold outbreaks.

Get Help Now

(312) 707-8597


Our office is located in downtown Chicago, IL just west of Millennium Park, nearby Willis Tower and Magnificent Mile. We provide 24 hour emergency fire and water damage cleanup to all of Chicagoland including Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Gold Coast, Lake View, Magnificent Mile and Little Village. We also provide a variety of specialty cleaning services.