3 Basic Plumbing Maintenance Tips to Help Avoid Flooding

Basic plumbing maintenance can reduce the potential for household flooding substantially. Though not all causes of home water damage are predictable and avoidable, staying ahead of indoor plumbing issues before they trigger flooding is a preventive step that’s well worth the time and effort. Like all household systems, plumbing pipes and drains incur wear and tear and degrade over time. Basic plumbing maintenance should therefore be an ongoing practice that focuses on the most likely causes of flooding. Here are three important items:

  • basic plumbing maintenanceTest all shutoff valves yearly. Everyone should know the location of the main water shutoff valve and how to operate it in case a water supply line inside the house breaks. Because valves may become frozen in the open position due to accumulation of mineral deposits, test-operate the main valve once a year to make sure it turns freely and shuts off the flow of water completely. Also test all individual shutoff valves inside the house such as those installed on the wall behind toilets and under sinks. If any shutoff valve is sticky or difficult to turn, don’t force it — contact a plumber.
  • Insulate exposed pipes. To prevent freezing that causes pipe rupture and flooding, keep frigid air away from water supply lines wherever possible. Insulate accessible spans of pipe with slip-on foam insulation sleeves, particularly in the crawl space under the house. Also seal any openings that allow outdoor air indoors, into areas such as the voids inside exterior walls and underneath the house.
  • No leakage is “normal.” In fact, apparently minor leaks such as pinholes in supply pipes that produce trivial drips are often a serious indicator of internal corrosion that may trigger a burst pipe and severe flooding. Signs of seepage around pipe joints is another red flag that the pipe construction is weakening and could burst at any time. Inspect all accessible spans of plumbing annually for signs of present or past leakage and don’t put off contacting a plumbing professional if you note any.

Ask a water damage professional at Rytech, Inc. about other basic plumbing maintenance to avoid flooding.

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