Water damage is one of the most common reasons why homeowners submit insurance claims on their properties. Even a minor flood or leak can cause havoc, so it is important to know how to lower the risks. This means checking the condition of pipes and fixtures on a regular basis. It also means practicing good etiquette when it comes to things like garbage disposal.
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent accidental flooding, you can protect your home by always using its plumbing correctly. Most of the rules and guidelines are merely common sense. For instance, it shouldn’t be difficult to avoid clogging drains and sinks with food waste, paint, or other harmful materials – just don’t pour unsuitable items down the pipes.
These handy household tips will help you avoid plumbing nightmares and all of the associated stresses and costs.
Inspect Pipes Regularly
The experts from O’Shea Plumbing recommend keeping a close eye on pipes. Once a month, spend a little time visually inspecting all of the exposed pipework in your home. Check under the kitchen sink, around central heating, and in the areas where you keep your appliances.
If you spot signs of corrosion or dimpling, the pipes are becoming worn and they may develop holes at some point in the future. It is up to you whether you get them repaired immediately or wait until the problem becomes more urgent.
Use Garbage Disposals Correctly
This is a really important piece of advice. No matter how inconvenient it feels, you must thoroughly scrape food waste from plates into the bin. The garbage disposal device in the sink is designed to deal with only the bits that were too small to catch. It cannot handle pits, bones, stones, peel, rind, or other hard waste items.
The sink will quickly become clogged if you don’t use the garbage disposal correctly. This happens when the food waste gets wrapped around the blades and stops them from turning. You may be able to use a plunger to fix this problem, just so long as it has not become too severe already.
Invest in Drain Cleaning
To fix minor blockages and sticky pipes before they turn into a big problem, invest in regular drain cleaning. This service can be performed as often as you like, but the recommended frequency is once every couple of months. If you have a large family producing lots of food waste, you might need to schedule more cleaning sessions than this.
It is always better to invest in prevention than it is the cure. If you spend a little time and money on keeping your pipes in tip top condition, you won’t have to deal with any major incidents further down the line. And, professional drain cleaning is actually very affordable these days.
Monitor Your Water Bills
One of the most obvious indications of a household leak is a sharp rise in water consumption. As it’s not always possible to spot leaks visually (slab leaks, for example), monitoring water usage is really important.
If you see an unexplained spike in the size of your bill or the amount of water that you have been using, seek the advice of a professional plumbing service. They will be able to assess your home and identify the cause of the mystery spring.
Turn Off Water Valves
It is a good idea to completely shut off water valves whenever you leave your home for more than a couple of days. This is a preventative measure which will stop accidental leaks from occurring while you’re away. The last thing that you want after a lovely holiday or trip with the family is to come back to a flooded kitchen – shut off the water and eliminate the risk.
If you don’t know where the master valve for the water is located, ask a professional plumber for help. It should be pretty simple to turn it off and back on again, but make sure that you are fiddling with the right device first before you make any changes.