Don’t Ignore Small Plumbing Problems

by Jane VanOsdol on July 29, 2011

Nothing’s worse than walking into your home only to find two inches of water on your basement floor. Equally bad is looking up onto your living room ceiling and noticing a large wet spot –in the area which sits directly under your upstairs bathroom. Plumbing problems are every homeowner’s nightmare. Let’s look at a few symptoms that could indicate a bigger home improvement problem is in your future if you ignore them.

  1. Spike in your water bill. If your water bill suddenly increases with normal usage and there hasn’t been a rate increase, suspect a leak of some sort.
  2. Change in your meter readings. Likewise, if your meter readings are higher than they were in previous months, and you haven’t increased your water usage, you should also consider the possibility of a water leak.
  3. Wet areas in your yard. If you have patches in your yard that are very moist and have excessive plant or grass growth as compared to the other areas of the yard, this is a sign of a possible leak. In this case, you will want to have a plumber check the water supply to the house. The other possible cause of a wet yard can be due to a failure in a septic system; usually you’ll spot the excess water above where the fingers are located in the system. You could also notice a foul odor.
  4. Running toilets and dripping faucets. You’ll want to fix these problems so that you can fix the underlying issues and stop the money drain out of your pocket each month when you pay your water bill.
  5. Cracked or unusually damp foundation or slab.
  6. Concrete floors that seem warm or are covered with mildew.
  7. Excessive moisture under carpet.
  8. Sewer problems. If you sewer is constantly backing up, you already know this is a problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Often times, sewers back up because there is a clog in the system. One possibility is due to tree roots. Mature trees have deep root systems, which can wreak havoc on a sewer system. Tree roots can grow into the sewer system, disrupting it. Old plumbing is especially vulnerable to this, because of the tendency in years past to use clay tiles. Tree roots are strong enough to  completely collapse clay tiles, causing a failure of the system.

You can see why it’s important to not let small problems turn into big ones. Keep a sharp eye out for potential plumbing problems and deal with them right away, before that little leak turns into Niagara Falls.

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