Plumbing is the often thankless, overlooked system that is one of the fundamental elements of a healthy home. Quietly, or at least we hope quietly working behind the scenes to keep our lives running smoothly. That said, it’s something to be respected and maintained or else it can rise up as an unwelcome nemesis. We’ll take a moment to offer a few prevention plumbing tips for homeowners to ensure your home can remain healthy.
The Key to Longevity
It’s always better to prevent an issue than have to find a cure, specifically related to plumbing. In order to stay on top of things, we encourage that at least twice a year (winter and spring) you go through an inspection checklist to catch anything that might be an inconvenience, before it’s a nightmare. Here’s a few things to consider putting on that list.
- Exposed Pipes: Make sure exposed pipes, especially in areas that aren’t heated such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, etc. Pipe sleeves or heat tape to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Even if you haven’t had an issue in the past, the reality is weather has been more extreme the past few years, so it’s worthy of attention.
- Outdoor Water Hoses: Drain and disconnect outdoor hoses before the first freeze so that the connecting faucet doesn’t freeze and burst. You can just store your water hoses in your garage or shed until Spring. You should also purchase faucet insulator sleeves or foam covers.
- Gutters: Unattended to gutters can cause a myriad of issues. If they are backed up with debris, there’s a risk of dam of water that can freeze, swell, and crack and damage gutters. Also, if water is unable to run freely, it can overflow and damage the eaves or soffits, the siding, or even worse, the home’s foundation. Also, make sure rain gutter downspout splash blocks are in place to ensure water flows away from the foundation of the home.
- Sump Pump & Backwater Valve: Check your sump pump, make sure it’s in good working condition. You can test it by pouring water into the well or pit to activate the pump. You should also check your backwater valve. These are typically found in basements and you do not want to find out it’s malfunctioning the hard way. Learn more about this easily missed, but critical piece of plumbing equipment in an earlier blog post.
- Cracks & Leaks: Seal cracks and fix any slow leaks. Water finds a way! If there is a way, it will find it. Be sure to check under sinks, the base of toilets, and anywhere pipes are accessible inside or outside of the home.
- Clogs: Clogged drains are a common issue that can cause big issues. Avoid putting grease, oil, and food scraps down the kitchen sink. Use hair catchers to prevent build up and obstructions in the drain.
- Water Main: Be sure to know where your water main is, and how to turn it off in the event of an emergency.
As tempting as it may be to address plumbing issues yourself, remember that you may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg and our qualified team is trained to ensure that the source of the issue is found and corrected to ensure you don’t have a greater issue down the road. Give our team a call at: (206) 785-1404 or reach out on our site. We look forward to hearing from you.