Certain parts of your home tend to blend into the background, and make it easy for you to forget about maintenance. Dryer vents, gutters, and even oven cleaning have been known to escape the notice of a busy household. One particular piece of household maintenance can cause a lot of damage to both property and to your wallet if left unnoticed, and that would definitely be your plumbing.
Everyone has plumbing questions, and unfortunately there are a lot of plumbing myths out there, like using lemons to clean your garbage disposal (pro-tip: that doesn’t work.) Property damage, such as water damage from a back flowing toilet, sink or dishwasher generally account for nearly 40% of all remodeling work done on homes. Unfortunately, plumbing needs and maintenance change with every season, as temperatures and usage vary depending on the weather, so different maintenance is needed at different times.
With autumn approaching and the summer house buying season winding down, it’s time to start preparing. This may mean some remodeling for new homeowners (9 out of 10 homeowners say they’d like to install energy efficient toilets, for example), while others plan to sell their home the next summer and 2/3s say they’ll do a full remodel on their bathroom with custom plumbing work. Whatever your plans are, you probably have several plumbing questions on proactive plumbing solutions through the fall.
- Leaking or Dripping Outside Faucets. Outside faucets get a lot of wear and tear during the hot summer months, so if yours is dripping or leaking you’ll want to talk to your plumber. If your pipes freeze when it starts to get cold, that leak can easily turn into a crack with the expanding water, and cause a lot more damage than just a few drips. If possible, make sure to shut off the water to your outside faucets and drain them.
- Insulate Exposed Pipes. If you have a new home, you should inspect the garage or any crawl spaces for exposed pipes. These pipes can easily freeze during the winter months, which in turn leads to frozen pipes, which in turn leads to burst pipes. You can acquire heat tape or other insulating tools for your pipes from your plumber or hardware stores.
- Maintain Your Water Heater. Your home’s water heater gets a lot more work during the colder months, so make sure to do some maintenance on it while it’s still warm out. Check out the makers guide for specifics on how to drain it to eliminate sediment, and any other routine maintenance.
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask your plumber about any frequently asked plumbing questions.