Water leaks happen a lot at home. If they’re not prevented or addressed immediately, they can do damage to a home that can be very costly.
Water leaks are also very wasteful. Every year, 10 percent of homes in the U.S. waste 90 gallons of water per day because of leaks. With water shortages being more common in recent years, homeowners need to conserve water as much as they can.
Common Examples of Water Leaks
Water leaks can happen in many parts of a home. For instance, the appliances hooked to the water line in your home can become the source of water leaks. Some examples of these appliances include the refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine. They may leak if the pipes and seals of these appliances come undone.
Toilet leaks are also prevalent. This problem is also one of the most expensive water leaks at home. A toilet leak often occurs when the flapper (the seal that shuts the flush valve) gets worn out and damaged.
Other common leaks happen on other plumbing fixtures, such as faucets and pipes. Old faucets and pipes may start to crack and leak.
How to Prevent Water Leaks
Prevention is always better than cure. It’s also less expensive. You shouldn’t wait until you see water leaking from your pipes and appliances. There are easy steps you can take to avoid experiencing water leaks in your residence.
Be Mindful of Your Drain
First, don’t just dump anything down the drain. For example, just because a brand of toilet paper has “flushable” on the label doesn’t mean you should flush it down the toilet. Consistently pouring and dumping things down your drain will eventually clog it. The standing water will accumulate in the pipes. And eventually, it will leak through the caulk and the pipe joints.
Some things you must avoid pouring down the drain include grease, flour, medicines, and stickers from produce. These things will either get stuck in the pipes or damage them through the chemicals they contain.
Inspect Water Fixtures Regularly
You use water fixtures several times a day. For instance, you turn on the faucet to wash your hands, wash vegetables, wash the dishes, and so on. In the bathroom, you use the faucet or the showerhead every day.
This constant use can cause wear and tear in these fixtures. So you must inspect them regularly to prevent water leaks. Check all the faucets and showerheads for any cracks. If you have a heater in your bathroom, check for any leaks. Sometimes, the leak is caused by a loose valve, which can be easily fixed by tightening it. But if it’s already damaged beyond repair, you will need to get a hot water system replacement.
Conduct Routine Appliance Maintenance
As mentioned earlier, some home appliances can cause water leaks. So one way to prevent them is regular maintenance.
Set a day every month to check on the pipes connected to your appliances. You might also consider replacing plastic pipes with stainless steel pipes as they are more durable and long-lasting. Check each appliance for any cracks where water may leak.
Also, make sure that you use your appliances properly. For example, check the manual or contact the manufacturer for soaps you can and can’t use in your dishwasher or washing machine. Cleaning your appliances will also help. Regular cleaning will prevent sediments and other harmful chemicals from staying in and damaging your appliances.
Clean Gutters Frequently
Your gutters can cause water leaks as well. Leaves, branches, and other outside debris will block your gutters. So they will not be able to direct and drain rainwater properly. The rainwater will stay in the gutters and may seep down your walls, resulting in a leak. In the long run, this leak can lead to structural damage in your home that will be difficult and expensive to fix.
Thus, one key to preventing water leaks in your home is to clean your gutters regularly. You can do this manually by handpicking the debris stuck in your gutters. You can also use a leaf blower to make the job quicker. If you don’t have a ladder or are not confident about cleaning the gutters on your own, hire an expert instead.
Preventing water leaks doesn’t take much work. You simply need to be mindful of how you use your appliances and water fixtures. Regular inspection and maintenance will take time. But dedicating an hour or two every month to these tasks will save you the trouble of a leaky home.