Technician working on sink pipe

How You Can Prevent Flood Damage, Leaks and Clogs

You count on your home’s plumbing system to support daily chores and plumbing fixtures, but unseen troubles can hide everywhere. Fortunately, you can avoid obstructions, leaking and even flooding with a little preventive maintenance. Here’s the way to keep your water running and your stress levels low.

Spot and Prevent Leaking

Most of your home system of plumbing pipes and fixtures is out of sight, so water issues often go on for weeks until they create the potential for water damage. Regularly checking for leaks can help you identify problems quickly. Here’s how:

  • Check under the sink for signs of standing water, wood rot or mold growth.
  • Find tiny leaks in your toilet by putting in some drops of food coloring to the tank. If the color shows up in the bowl after 30 minutes without flushing, you’ve got a leak.
  • Examine around and behind your appliances, including the dishwasher or washing machine, for signs of water damage or leaks.
  • Have a professional perform a water meter test.
    • First off, turn off all water in your home via the main water lines.
    • Then, walk outside to check the water meter. Check one more time in two hours, and do your best not to use any water in the meantime.
    • If the reading goes up, there is a leak somewhere.

Employ Mesh Strainers

Another effective way to avoid clogs is to place mesh strainers over your kitchen and shower drains. They trap hair, pieces of soap, old toothpaste and other debris as water flows down the drain. these strainers to keep your drains flowing freely.

Be Aware of What Not to Flush

Toilets are designed to safely remove human waste and toilet paper. Here’s what you should never flush:

  • Baby and/or wet wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Soft cotton
  • Sanitary products
  • Baby diapers
  • Dental floss
  • Old medication

Understand What Shouldn’t Be Rinsed

A lot of sinks in the kitchen may be equipped with a garbage disposal, but several things still should go in the trash or compost heapp, rather than dumped into the drain, including:

  • Cooking grease
  • Tough foods like corn cobs and stalks of celery
  • Sticky foods like boiled rice or coffee grounds
  • Solid objects such as fruit pits and animal bones
  • Things that aren’t food. Silverware and similar items can fall into the disposal and cause damage when you turn it on.

Invest in a Sump Pump

Installing a sump pump can really help prevent water damage, especially in areas prone to heavy rainfall. This device removes water that accumulates in the sump basin, generally installed in the floor of your basement, and drains it away from the house. For homes that already have a sump pump, check it every now and then by adding some water into the pit. As long as the pump activates and the pit drains, it’s working fine. If it doesn’t seem to be working properly, you have time to call a professional to service the pump before another big thunderstorm rolls through.

Find the Main Shutoff Valve

Being familiar with your plumbing system means knowing the location of your main water shutoff valve. This valve regulates water coming into your home, so knowing where it is means you can turn it off quickly in a plumbing emergency. It’s also wise to shut off this valve before going away for an extended period. Common locations for the main shutoff valve include the basement, near the water heater, in a utility closet or outside the home under the ground.

Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

In colder climates, doing your part to protect the plumbing pipes is crucial to avoid freezing and bursting. Here are some tips:

  • Cover pipes in the appropriate insulation in unfinished spaces like the basement, garage or attic with insulating foam or heating tape.
  • Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets throughout the winter to keep ice from forming inside the pipes.
  • Keep under-sink cabinet doors open during cold spells to keep warm air circulating around the pipes.

Install a Backflow Valve

Many plumbers recommend you put in a backflow valve in the basement floor drain to prevent sewage from flowing back into their homes after heavy rainfall. Professionals can fit this strong layer of protection against sewage backflow.

Set Up Flood Alarms

Just as smoke alarms are a big part of good fire safety, flood alarms can help avoid water damage. These wired or battery-operated devices detect water at the earliest stages of flooding or leaks, sounding an alarm to inform you. For even more protection, add smart flood alarms into your home security system. This alerts you on your phone if water has been detected, helping to deal with leaks before they cause significant damage.

Trust Dependable Local Plumbers for Support

While you can implement a wide variety preventive steps on your own to stop clogs, leaks and damage from floods, sometimes it takes a professional touch to keep things flowing smoothly. That’s where Freedom Heating & Cooling excels. We work with some of the best plumbers offering residential plumbing support from coast to coast with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

If you’re not completely satisfied with our services after one year, we will do everything we can to make it right. This commitment shows how we ensure a complete sense of comfort in your life. For Expert plumbing service that exceeds expectations, please contact us today.