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Don’t Spring a Leak: How to Avoid Plumbing Problems This Season

Posted On: March 21, 2018
Pipe leaking water

Nothing bursts a homeowner’s bubble more than discovering a leak in their home. From mold and mildew growth to structural damage, leaving a leak undetected can wreak serious havoc on your home — and your wallet. The best way to avoid costly water damage repairs is to prevent them from happening in the first place. By understanding how to prevent and detect leaks in your home, you can avoid making a call to your Genz-Ryan home service professional this season. If you do need us, however, we’ll be there with the reliable, hassle-free, 24-hour service you need to set the situation right!

How to Prevent Leaks in Your Home

When working to prevent leaks in your home, it’s best to first identify the areas and systems in your home that are more prone to leakage. The following are just some of the more high-risk areas in the home along with prevention methods for how to address each:

  • Washing Machine: These appliances use a lot of water, which can lead to corrosion if not properly maintained. To prevent against the harmful effects of corrosion, be sure to replace your washing machine’s hoses once every five years and ensure the connections are carefully inspected once annually. If you plan to go on a long vacation, consider shutting off the water to prevent any unwanted leaks while you’re away.
  • Air Conditioner: Most air conditioning units have moisture removed via a drain pipe. If the pipe gets clogged or the pan is collecting water, it could lead to a leak. Homeowners can easily prevent this by scheduling routine AC maintenance with their trusted HVAC technician.
  • Drains & Pipes: Probably the most common source for leaks in the home, drains, and pipes can cause incredible damage when they spring a leak. To prevent drain and pipe leaks, avoid sending food and other debris down your drains, install backflow preventers, ensure trees are planted at least 20 feet from the home and leave your faucets on a slow drip during below-freezing temperatures. Homeowners can help prevent this by scheduling plumbing maintenance.
  • Toilets: Sometimes a toilet may leak at the supply line, causing damage to unexpected areas of the home. If your toilet is leaking at the supply line, prevent against water damage by opening the tank lid, closing the flapper, lifting the ball, shutting off the wall stop, and contacting a plumbing professional.
  • Dishwasher & Refrigerator: Because the pipes connected to dishwashers and refrigerators are located behind or underneath the appliance, these connections can go unmaintained for years. It’s critically important to check under and behind these appliances every once in a while to make sure no damage or corrosion is present that may lead to leakage down the road.
  • Foundation: Known as a slab leak, leaks in the home’s foundation are one of the worst leaks a homeowner can discover. These leaks can be prevented by properly maintaining your drains and pipes, repairing foundation cracks as soon as they appear, using water-catching containers or French drains to direct water from the home, and ensuring your water pressure is properly set.

Once you’ve leak-proofed the most high-risk areas of your home, it’s time to brush up on how to detect a leak once it’s entered the home. Not all leaks are immediately apparent, and knowing how to catch the signs of a hidden leak early can help you prevent costly damage in the future.

How to Detect Leaks in Your Home

Sometimes a leak can remain hidden in your home until a larger issue appears. However, there are subtle signs that homeowners can watch out for that will indicate that a leak is present. By watching out for the following signs, homeowners can detect a leak in their home before it causes catastrophic damage to their personal property:

  • Sudden spike in water spending
  • Changing water meter readings
  • Abnormally green, lush areas in your lawn
  • Puddles around plumbing fixtures
  • Bubbling paint or bulging wallpaper
  • Musty, mildewy odors
  • Dripping sounds
  • Discoloration on walls, floors, or ceilings

One easy way that homeowners can detect a leak in their toilet’s tank is by dye-testing it: Simply add a few drops of food coloring to the water in the tank of each toilet in your home. If your toilet tank has a leak, color will appear in the bowl within five minutes.

While these signs can point to a leak in your home, you’ll still need the eye of a trained plumbing professional to ensure the problem is properly resolved. Plus, your plumber will be able to use more sophisticated video camera pipe inspection technology to pinpoint the root cause of your leak and deliver the most effective solution.

When to Contact a Home Service Professional

The moment you suspect a leak has entered your home, it’s time to contact your Genz-Ryan service professional. Whether you have leaking HVAC equipment, appliances, or plumbing fixtures, our service team has the years of industry experience necessary to deliver the long-lasting solutions you need to avoid water damage.

If your leak prevention didn’t do the trick, trust our team to get the job done right by contacting us to schedule service today!

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