Water Damage Restoration: Avoiding a Citation in Pipe Conservation
Our homes are likely the largest investments we will make in our lifetime, but did you know most homeowners ignore their plumbing? Homeownership requires the same level of dedication seen in those who take measures to maintain their vehicles: getting routine oil changes, replacing tires and air filters and having an experienced mechanic looking under the hood after 90,000 miles are standard auto-care procedures. But the plumbing in your homes deserves the same type of dedicated attention. Every year the best water damage restoration companies across the country report millions of dollars in damage due to a variety of pipe bursts or sewage spills that resulted from a problem that could have easily been remediated had a professional first inspected the pipe.
Proper Maintenance Dos
1. Call for an inspection: The first thing to do is hire a professional plumber to come out and inspect your pipes for signs of wear and tear. Your plumber will be on the lookout for bulging pipes (sign of pressure building), outdated materials, ill-fitted parts, cracks and the presence of hard water. When inappropriate objects are flushed down toilets a blockage can form that may ultimately result in a pipe burst or sewage backup problem. When this happens countless gallons of black water brimming with E Coli can seep into your floors, walls and pose serious health risks to your family. Calling a 24/7 standby sewage cleanup company will be absolutely necessary, but with the right maintenance put in place there doesn’t have to be a scenario like this one.
Your plumber will also look for clay and cast iron parts—materials that were common to homes in the early 1900s. These materials breakdown over time and a complete plumbing failure can result in a total loss on the house. If your plumbing is antiquated it is wise to just cough up the dough and update the pipes. The expense of losing your home to a nasty flood will hurt more, and the updated plumbing will add resale value to the house.
2. Address those leaking faucets: Leaking faucets and running toilets pose an obnoxious ambiance, but most homeowners ignore them completely. According to The USGS Water Science School a dripping faucet can produce enough water over a year to cause a flood—one gallon is equal to 15,140 drips and a running toilet can account for a loss of 73,000 gallons of water each year. In addition, a leaking faucet in your bathroom or kitchen can cause a nasty black mold infestation requiring immediate mold removal services before problems such as asthma, lung disease and even death result in family members.
3. Clean Drains and Fixtures: Nobody wants to see a disgusting nest of armpit hair, grimy soap scum or mineral deposits in the drain and on the showerheads. If you can see vile items like this, there could very well be quite a bit inside your drain and plumbing causing dangerous buildup that you can’t see. Not only can this produce a foul odor, it can also cause a pipe burst. There are a number of products at home improvement and hardware stores that can be poured down your drain to help loosen up and safely disintegrate most clogs. As for lime scale on showerheads, simply soak the heads in white vinegar and lemon juice for 30 minutes and the white spots will come right off. But this is a sure sign of hard water—another cause of pipe bursts due to mineral deposits building up within pipes. You can purchase a water tester from any hardware store and treat any hard water issues with a water softener treatment performed once every six months.
By performing simple plumbing maintenance and having your pipes inspected, you can avoid a citation from your plumber and instead get a nice, firm handshake for being a responsible homeowner and having a clean bill of pipe health!