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For many homeowners, spring provides the opportunity to catch up on the household maintenance and cleaning tasks that were inaccessible, overlooked, or neglected over the winter. The spring season provides the perfect weather for renovations and decluttering efforts alike.
No matter how long your spring cleaning to-do list is this year, you may be missing a crucial item. Add the following plumbing and drainage tune-ups, cleanups, and repairs to your plans.
Some of the most stubborn drain obstructions form during the winter. Colder temperatures can encourage substances like soap scum and grease to congeal and stick to the sides of the pipes. Over time, these layers catch other debris like hair, food particles, and fibers and then form large clogs that may block pipes completely.
Additionally, the holiday festivities over the winter can contribute to clogs. Hosting guests may put a strain on the plumbing, especially if your guests accidentally flush or wash inappropriate items down the drain. Holiday cooking may also increase the amount of food and grease in your kitchen sink’s drain.
If you’ve noticed changes in drain efficiency, have the drain snaked to remove the clog. Do not use chemical drain cleaners, as these solvents may abrade the pipes yet fail to eliminate the obstruction completely.
Temperature fluctuations can be hard on your plumbing fixtures. As you perform your other spring cleaning tasks, assess the condition of your faucets, toilets, and shower heads.
If you notice any cracks or warped areas, it may be time to have the damaged fixture replaced.
Proper drainage outside your home is just as important as functional drains within. As spring arrives, your gutters may become full of twigs, leaves, and even birds’ nests. These obstructions can lead to standing water.
When left unaddressed, gutter blockages can cause damage to the gutter system, such as sagging or corrosion, and a greater risk of flooding on your property. Have a thorough cleaning done in the beginning to middle of spring and then check the gutters frequently for the rest of the year.
If you feel comfortable doing so, you can assess the condition of your gutters from a ladder. If you notice insects, birds, or a high level of debris, have a gutter expert perform the first cleaning of the season.
Water Heater Setting Check
The correct water heater temperature setting ensures that your home has adequate hot water without wasting energy. Experts recommend setting your hot water heater to 120℉. Most modern appliances, like dishwashers, require this minimum temperature to run properly.
The harsh weather and low temperatures of winter can cause changes to the condition of your pipes. New leaks often develop over the winter due to broken seals, cracked pipes, and other damage.
To see whether you need professional leak detection, check your water meter reading when no water is running. Keep the water off for several hours and then check the reading again. Any significant change in the reading points to the existence of a leak. You may be best off starting this test before going to bed or going to work to ensure no water is used.
If you have a household leak, you may also notice water damage or intrusion. For example, stains on your walls or floors near a plumbing fixture could result from a leak. A plumber can pinpoint and repair leaks anywhere in your system.
Many installations are simply not possible over the winter. If you need a new plumbing appliance or fixture, spring is the best time to have it installed, since many plumbers have more appointments in the summertime.
In addition to installations like replacement of an old water heater, you should also consider installing a sump pump or back flow prevention valve to reduce the potential damage of spring floods, especially if you live in a high-risk area.
The valves in your plumbing system dictate which direction the water flows. Many of these valves require regular maintenance in order to stay in good condition. For example, water supply valves for bathroom appliances may need to be exercised by hand to prevent immobilization.
While some valves are situated within easy reach, like supply valves under sinks, others may not be obvious to the handyman in your home. A plumber can identify and service each of the valves in your system to ensure that all your plumbing works together as it should.
Most of the tasks listed above should be handled by a professional plumber. Schedule a routine assessment with one of the experts at Rapid Rooter Plumbing to check off the majority of your plumbing spring cleaning tasks.
As you cross tasks off your to-do list, prioritize the plumbing measures listed above to ensure that your household system works smoothly over the spring, during the long summer days, and beyond.