Procrastination is unfortunately a part of human nature. In spite of a wealth of folk sayings about a stitch in time and an ounce of prevention, we tend to put things off until it’s almost too late. That’s especially true when it comes to plumbing. Putting off fixing leaks or insulating water pipes leads to problems calling for emergency repair. In fact timely plumbing repairs could prevent the emergencies from happening in the first place.
Leaks and drips are not just a nuisance, they cost money. Even a minor leak can add hundreds of dollars to your water bill, and do some serious structural damage your house. And if it leads to a pipe bursting, you may well be dealing with a major flooding problem and expensive damage to your household goods and furniture. Some of the most typical plumbing problems that could be prevented by routine maintenance include leaks and flooding, frozen and burst water pipes, and old and leaking sewers.
Frozen and burst pipes
One of the commonest calls for emergency repair is due to frozen or burst pipes. Frozen water pipes in the winter are an annoyance and an inconvenience. But if the frozen pipes burst, you’re looking at a minor disaster. Homeowners should be aware that when temperatures fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, water pipes without insulation are liable to freeze. Since water expands when it freezes, this can cause the pipes to burst. Depending on the location of the pipes, they can cause a lot of damage.
In fact insurance companies report that the second most common cause of losses to homeowners result from water damage to property due to burst pipes.
A plumbing maintenance service can help you ensure that the pipes and sewers in your home have proper insulation that will enable them to withstand the coldest winter temperatures. As well as insulating pipes, experts recommend keeping the home temperature at least at 55 to 60 degrees, even if no one is home, to prevent water pipes from freezing and bursting.
Leaks and drips
A leaking or dripping pipe may seem like a minor problem and one that many homeowners choose to ignore. But even a seemingly small crack just three millimeters (or one-eight of an inch) in length can lose as much as 250 gallons of water a day. It can lead to lower water pressure and depending on the location of the leak, could cause serious damage to floors, carpeting, furniture, appliances and personal items.
Leaks waste water, and cost money. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) estimates that out of the 180 to 250 gallons of water used by the average American household everyday, 14% is lost because of pipe and plumbing leaks. It is estimated that by fixing minor household plumbing leaks, homeowners can save up to 10% on water bills.
Aging water pipes and sewers
Many people love old houses and restore and maintain them with care. It’s important to remember that if your house is more than 40 years old, your sewer lines may need to be replaced. In some old commercial buildings with the biggest plumbing systems, as many as a third or 30% of the water pipes could be as old as 40 to 80 years. That’s a plumbing disaster waiting to happen.
Fortunately, replacing or repairing old sewer lines or pipes is no longer as disruptive as it used to be. Plumbing services can use trenchless sewer and pipe replacement technology to repair or replace old or cracked pipes with a minimum of trouble. Trenchless technology has been around for 10 to 15 years, but not many homeowners are aware of its benefits. It eliminates the need to dig up the entire sewer line when repairs or replacements are needed. This means minimum damage to yards, patios and basements.
While it’s good to know of a plumbing service that can provide emergency repair when needed, it’s better to eliminate the need for emergency repair altogether by carrying out routine maintenance when needed.