7 Leaks You Can Prevent In Your Home
A minor leak can turn into a serious issue if it goes undetected for weeks or months. Leaks don’t just raise your bills. They can also damage your belongings and the property. Thankfully, it is possible to ‘prevent’ some of the most common leaks by taking some tried-and-tested preventive measures.
Here in this post, we will discuss the seven most common leaks that you can prevent in your home at a fraction of cost you may incur on repairing them later:
- Air Conditioning Leaks
A drain pipe transports collected moisture/water out of your Air Conditioning (AC) unit. Over time, this condensate drain might get clogged due to dirt, debris, algae, mold, or rust build-up.
The moisture generally appears on ceilings and walls when your AC unit is leaking water. For instance, if your AC unit happens to be in your attic, you may notice moisture on the ceiling due to a clogged drain pipe.
Be sure to get your AC checked and cleaned by professionals each year.
Leakage prevention also includes timely (1 to 3 months) replacement of the air filter.
A dirty air filter leads to restricted air flow; consequently, evaporator coils get too cold and eventually freeze as they don’t receive the required amount of ventilation.
It is normal for an AC unit to produce little condensation on some occasions. But if excess water is leaking regularly, you should contact an AC technician or professionals who specialize in leak detection and repair.
- Leaks in Drains & Pipes
A leaking sewer drain can cause sanitary & health issues, mold problems, and property damage (around basements and the foundations). Be sure to ask your plumber to install backflow preventers on all sewer drains, especially if there is a sprinkler system in place.
Avoid pouring grease, oil, meats, butter, eggshells, food scraps, etc. down your drains as they can clog the pipes.
Trees such as Willows, Oaks, Maple, Elm, Sycamore, Birch, etc. are infamous for causing sewer line damage. Such trees, if planted too close to a building, can cause significant root damage to underground pipes.
Trees such as Magnolias, Wafer ash, Sabal Palmetto, and various fruit trees pose little or no danger to the underground pipe network around your house.
Depending upon your location, pipe depth, and the type of pipes used, a plumber or a landscaping specialist can advise you on the type of trees that are safe to plant on your property without inviting pipe damage from tree roots.
- Roof Leaks
Roof leaks are quite common in both residential and commercial buildings, especially when builders haven’t installed waterproof barriers, roof deck protection, pre-manufactured flashing, and hip & ridge cap shingles.
Most homeowners discover roof leaks in the attic or upstairs bedrooms during the rainy season. To prevent any major roof leak, be sure to inspect your roof at least once every year, especially before the rainy season.
Any necessary repairs should be completed early on. Be sure to hire professional roofing contractors for the best results.
Keep the gutters clean, install attic insulation and repair the chimney from time to time to prevent major roof leaks.
- Water Heater Leaks
A medium or high-capacity home water heater can develop water leaks and even cause flooding if metal corrosion goes undetected for months or years.
Be sure to flush out the water tank at least once in a year to get rid of the built-up sediment.
Routinely inspect your water heater to detect corrosion and other such damages early on. Check if your water heater’s shut-off & drain valves can be opened and closed smoothly.
- Faucet Leaks
A leaking faucet is a common problem that many homeowners face. Faucet leaks are more than just an annoyance; they can also increase your water bill over a period of time.
Faucet leaks are generally caused by loose moving parts, broken O-rings, faulty washers, or worn out valve seats. In most cases, you will just need to get the washer or the O-ring replaced.
If you wait too long to get a faucet leak repaired, you may have to replace the entire unit.
- Foundation Leaks
Foundation leaks can be nasty and costly to repair. These leaks develop in the water piping around the foundation slabs.
It’s not strictly a plumbing leak, but corrosion in pipes and improper drainage can at times cause foundation leaks.
Avoid chemical drain cleaners as they can corrode pipes around the foundation.
Foundation cracks, if any, should be repaired immediately.
Changes in water pressure (delivered to your home by the city’s water supply company/agency) can also result in slab leaks. Check if the water pressure is set to a safe level.
One water pipe blowing up under the foundations can wreck untold havoc on your property.
- Refrigerator, Washing Machine and Dishwasher
The water pipes connected to your refrigerator, washing machine, or refrigerator can go unchecked for years at a stretch.
It is a good idea to routinely check these pipes, generally located behind the appliance, for leaks and damages.
If there is a musty, organic smell coming from behind the appliance, you may have a mold issue (and a moisture problem).
Inspecting refrigerators, dishwashers, water heaters, air conditioning, etc. should be a part of your spring-cleaning routine.
If your family is going on a vacation, be sure to shut off the water to these appliances to stay clear of any leaks while you are away.
Leak detection & prevention is one of the best ways to keep tabs on your plumbing and reduce your water bills. Yes, some leak repairs will require professional help. At times, you may even find it difficult to determine the root cause of a leak, let alone fix it on your own. But there are ways to prevent many of the common leaks from ever happening.
About The Author: For the past 30 years, twin brothers Dave and Jim Schuelke have run their company Twin Home Experts. Twin Home Experts is also one of the fastest-growing YouTube channels online for valuable content to both homeowners and plumbers showcasing DIY and frequently asked questions.
Image by Peter H from Pixabay
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