No one wants to deal with plumbing maintenance. Many homeowners forget about it entirely until there is a problem. You want to avoid that, because sooner or later, you’ll be facing major repairs. Spring is an excellent time to discuss maintenance because of the impact changing weather has on pipes.
The Importance of Winterization
During the final weeks of fall, properties are prepared for freezing temperatures. Water is completely cleared from systems that won’t stay active during the winter months. From lakeside cabins to sprinkler systems, winterization is needed to prevent cracked and ruptured pipes.
In spring, plumbing must be readied for warm weather, but it’s important not to move too quickly. If you begin using elements before temperatures are high enough, you could wind up risking a pipe breaking anyway. This is commonly seen in sprinkler systems that are started before the ground is unthawed.
Spring Plumbing Tips for Outdoors
Certain spring plumbing tips have more to do with preventing problems indoors than out. For instance, you should clear your gutters and downspouts, because once that water begins to pour, it’s going to have to go to the right areas to avoid pooling back into the basement. This can cause your floor drains to back up, but it can also damage the foundation of your home.
Also, check that all plumbing appliances, like hot water heaters, have clear ventilation. Birds and other small animals may climb inside vents and block exhaust. This can affect performance as well as reroute harmful fumes back into your home. Covering the ends of vents with protective caps or even placing steel wool inside of them may be helpful in keeping pests out.
Finally, you need to run your sprinklers and spigots. Check your hoses and all sprinkler components. Make sure they have appropriate water pressure and are free of leaks.
Spring Plumbing Maintenance Indoors
Near the end of winter, homeowners often get antsy to clean things up, take care of any problems and start the warm season off on the right foot. Spring plumbing tasks are even more relevant. Once temperatures warm up, you may finally see the results of winter damage. You also want to manage any old, winter melt that might be sitting in your pipes. Get started with these simple tips:
- Run a cycle of vinegar solution through your sump pump. This will help clear out any bacteria or mold that set in during winter. It also helps you make sure your sump pump is operating and draining correctly.
- Pour a gallon of hot water into seldom-used drains to clear out buildup and check for clogs.
- Check all the exposed pipes in the basement, under sinks and in other little-used areas of your home. These are the most likely to develop leaks.
If you think you see a problem, or you’re worried you won’t be able to perform spring maintenance on your own, get in touch with one of the area’s most trusted plumbing services. Mr. Rooter of Oneida is always here to take your calls.