It’s common knowledge that all of the components of your home have an expiration date. And this expiration date looms over your plumbing system on a whole other level. With all the strain it is put through daily, your plumbing system is both the hardest working and the most sensitive system in your home. Additionally, if a part of your plumbing system goes down, it can take many other parts of your home down with it. For example, if a pipe bursts in your wall, the water leak can cause damage to your wall and create the perfect environment for mold growth. That’s why the smartest thing you can do is take precautions and work on proper maintenance to help extend the lifespan of your home’s plumbing.
Let’s go through our short list of ways you can do just that.
1. Clean your drains regularly to prevent clogs
This tip is important to keep in mind in two main areas in your home. Your kitchen and your bathroom. To better explain how to extend the lifespan of your home’s plumbing by utilizing this tip, let’s go through these two drainage systems one by one.
The kitchen drains and garbage disposal
You can help maintain your kitchen sink drainage system by regularly cleaning it and being mindful of what goes down. You can easily clean your drain by using chemical pipe cleaners. However, you should be careful with them. Moderation is key here since using harsh chemicals like that too often can lead to corrosion and damage your pipes.
Secondly, there’s also a very simple form of prevention you can use here. By being mindful about what you’re allowing to go down your drain and garbage disposal, you can easily prevent clogs and space out the need for chemical cleaners. Things like potato peels and oils should be avoided. An excellent, small investment you can make is draining covers. They can help prevent large objects from going down the drain.
Your bathroom has two weak spots that have to be maintained. The shower/bathtub drain and the toilet. When it comes to the shower drain, maintenance rules are similar to the rules for maintaining your kitchen drainage system. Drain covers are perfect for stopping hair from going down the drain. You just have to remember to pick it up and throw it into the bin after a shower.
Since there are no drain covers available for toilet bowls (it would be very strange if there were), mindfulness is key here. Here is a short list of things that people have a habit of flushing down the toilet bowl that should be avoided:
- Dental floss
- Paper towels
- “Flushable” wet wipes
- Makeup wipes
- Sanitary products
- Cotton balls
2. Prevention is the best way to extend the lifespan of your home’s plumbing
Making sure that you take the necessary preventative measures and avoid plumbing emergencies is the best way to ensure that your system will be running smoothly for years to come. Calling a plumber to conduct a thorough inspection of your plumbing is a great way to find problem areas and address the issue before it even becomes one.
With the advancement of technology, there are now plumbing products that can help prevent plumbing issues much more easily. One of the best products you can invest in is smart pipes. These pipes can detect leaks moments after they appear and alert your phone right away. This isn’t a necessity, but if you can afford to install them, you should. They will make extending your plumbing system’s lifespan a much simpler job.
3. Conduct regular water heater maintenance
Water heater damage is the most common reason you might have a lack of hot water in your home. If you want to extend the lifespan of your home’s plumbing, you have to properly maintain your water heater.
These appliances are especially vulnerable to corrosion and sediment buildup. When water evaporates, the minerals in it start to pile up and create a layer of sediment on the radiator and pipes in the heater. This makes it harder for the pipes to cool, and if they get too hot, they can start bursting. On the other hand, this also makes it harder for the radiator to do its job. So, you’ll quickly notice that you’re lacking in hot water.
To extend the lifespan of your water heater, it’s best to flush it at least once a year. Additionally, you should have a plumber check it and clear the sediments at least twice a year.
4. Insulate your pipes to avoid bursts
While this can be a bit of a pricey investment initially, insulating your pipes is sure to save you money in the long run, especially if you live in an area with very cold winters. A frozen pipe is almost sure to burst. This results in a costly repair process. Now imagine having to go through that process every year or two.
Something important to note here is that you don’t have to insulate all of your pipes. You should mainly focus on the areas of your home that aren’t heated:
- Crawl spaces
Since insulating your pipes is a big job and dust is inevitable, a great piece of advice from Peasley Transfer & Storage experts is to rent a short-term storage unit you want to protect during it. This way, you can move any valuables or furniture that you were keeping in your attic/basement to it and ensure that those things are protected.
5. Conduct annual winter prep
Aside from insulating your pipes, there are other preventative measures that you can take to protect your plumbing system from the cold of winter. One of the most important things you can do is shut off the water supply to any outdoor faucets on your property.
Firstly, this will help you save a lot of time when the time comes to use them again since you won’t be thawing any ice. And secondly, if you let the water run when it’s freezing outside, the buildup of ice can cause pipes inside or underneath your home to burst. Having one of your pipes suddenly burst and spew freezing water in your home isn’t a fun experience. Of course, accidents happen, so it’s essential to be prepared and know what to do if a pipe bursts in your home.
6. Annual professional plumbing inspections are crucial
Finally, we will cover a topic that we have alluded to throughout this article: annual plumbing inspections. The best way to ensure that you’re taking good care of your plumbing system is to have a professional check on it every once in a while. If you can afford it, it’s best to have an inspection for every season of the year. This is mainly because each of them brings its own challenges. However, a thorough annual checkup is just as fine.
To sum it all up
As you can see, there are many ways to extend the lifespan of your home’s plumbing. It all comes down to how much you’re willing to put into taking care of your home. You can do most of the things on this list by yourself. Or you can have a professional do it all for you. What is important is that you take proper care of the hardest working system in your home.