You may have made several New Year’s Resolutions about getting healthier, working out more, or giving yourself a makeover. But have you thought about making New Year’s Resolutions for your home? Having your plumbing inspected may not be as fun as a gym membership or as glamorous as a new hairdo, but if you haven’t had an inspection of your home’s pipes in a while, then it’s time to call your plumber and start the New Year mess, stress and leak-free.
Importance of Preventative Maintenance
Having your home’s plumbing inspected annually can save you a bundle. Preventative maintenance means that a plumber will inspect your drains, pipes, bathroom fixtures, and water heater to ensure all looks well. If they detect a small leak, it can be fixed quickly before it becomes an emergency like a burst pipe. A good plumber can also give you tips to improve your home’s plumbing efficiency to save on utilities and help keep everything running smoothly.
Warning Sign: Are Your Pipes Insulated?
If you live in a colder part of the country, it’s important to ensure that your pipes, especially those that run along the outside walls of your house, are properly insulated. Over time, insulation can break down, exposing your pipes to colder air. The cold air on the outside and the hot water running through the inside can cause the material to expand and contract more than it should, causing the pipe’s material to break down more rapidly.
Or, if you’ve had a problem with rodents, your plumber may find that these pests have chewed through some of the insulation, exposing your pipes. Pipes that are weakened are more likely to burst, which can cause extensive damage to your home.
Warning Sign: Toilet Clogs
If any of your toilets are clogging regularly, it’s probably time to call a plumber. Even if you can fix the clog yourself with a plunger or chemicals, toilets that regularly clog may indicate that there is a blockage in the drains or the U-bend of the pipes. Feminine sanitary products, paper towels, baby wipes, and condoms shouldn’t be flushed. If these things are, they can stay in your pipes, making a dam of sorts in them and keeping waste from getting to the sewer.
Warning Sign: Slow Drainage
If your kitchen or bathroom sinks, or your tub or showers are draining more slowly than usual, you probably have partially clogged pipes. A professional plumber can check your whole home to see if it’s a problem with a particular sink that needs to be snaked or if one of your home’s main drainage pipes is causing slow drainage in the entire house. While chemical de-cloggers may get rid of hair and soap clogs, over time, certain things like food or solid grease may build up in your pipes. These backups can damage your pipes by keeping organic waste in the pipes and corroding them. This, in turn, can lead to a burst pipe.
Warning Sign: Chilly Water
Your pipes aren’t the only thing that a plumber will inspect when performing preventative maintenance. Your water heater may also need a tune-up. A leaking water heater can cause all kinds of problems in your home, from mold and mildew in the walls to puddles of water in your basement to overall inefficiency.
If you notice that you aren’t getting as much hot water as you’re used to getting, or if your water isn’t getting steaming hot (and you haven’t adjusted your settings), then you may have a leak. Or your water heater may need a tune-up or replacement parts. Your plumber can take care of this, as well, or recommend a new water heater.
Warning Sign: Musty Smelling Rooms
The smell of wet newspapers is a clear indication of mold or mildew in your house. Many people notice this first in a bathroom, basement, or attic – somewhere that’s enclosed or a little-used room. Dripping pipes, an aging boiler system, or a faulty water heater can leak without bursting – slow drips may be absorbed in your home’s walls, and when you run the heat in your home, or in summer’s hot weather, these moist walls can begin to grow mold and mildew.
Plumbing inspections don’t just involve the pipes themselves, but the insulation and walls around them, checking for signs of mold. Mold and mildew can be very dangerous, especially for children and the elderly. Left untreated, it can lead to respiratory illnesses and extensive damage to your house.
Warning Sign: Higher Water Bill
It’s important to monitor your monthly water bill, not just for your budget but also to see how much you’re using. If you’re using more water than usual, you may have leaks. Remember, if a pipe leaks into your wall, you’re still paying for that water, even if you aren’t using it! Most water bills will show a monthly usage that goes back several months or a year. By comparing your water usage month-to-month and comparing your monthly use this year to monthly use last year, you may have a hint that you need a plumber to check your home.
Warning Sign: Low Water Pressure
Faucets that aren’t putting out water at their full volume may indicate that the pipes leading to them are leaking. If your water flow in a kitchen sink, shower, or bathtub isn’t at its usual volume, then some of that water may be leaking out before it reaches the faucet itself. A plumber has special tools to detect each faucet’s output to determine where a pipe may be playing.
Warning Sign: Hard Water
You may notice that your faucets and showerheads have rough-looking matter than isn’t easily wiped off, or you may know that you live in an area that has hard water. The sediments and chemicals in the water don’t just make your faucets and showerheads crusty and dirty looking. They can also build up in or corrode the material of your home’s pipes, weakening them which can lead to a burst pipe. Your plumber can test your water and recommend water softener to reduce the damage of hot water.
Give Us a Call!
Don’t get caught by surprise with an overflowing toilet, clogged sink, or burst pipe. Call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain today for an inspection!