Summer brings a host of wonderful outdoor activities to your home. For many homeowners, the warm weather means cookouts, kiddie pools, running the sprinkler to keep that garden green, and more. While these changes are seemingly slight, they create stresses on your home’s plumbing systems and appliances. One way to avoid problems associated with the changes in demand on your home’s systems is to know what causes them and be prepared. Below are some common summer plumbing concerns that many residential homeowners are not aware of. SSI Plumbing understands these problems and employs highly trained, licensed and bonded professionals who are prepared to meet any plumbing problem in your home, no matter how big or small the issue.
- In Ground Sprinkler Systems: Sprinkler systems should be inspected before heavy use begins. This means not only testing sprinkler heads and making sure that they are free and clear of debris, but also making sure that the plumbing that feeds the system is in good working order. Slow leaks in the outdoor plumbing next to your house can cause water problems inside if not dealt with promptly. They also account for higher utility bills, as even the smallest leaks can waste anywhere from 50 – 100 gallons a week.
- Clogged Drains and Toilets: Summer means that children who are normally in school all day are now at home. Drains in showers get far more use as children who are outside in the heat for various activities come home and clean up. Keeping drains clean and running freely prevents possible flooding in showers and damage to your bathrooms from water not draining properly. Toilets also get more daily use than during the rest of the year when school is in session. While most clogs can be fixed with a plunger, some can’t. SSI can be there to assist you, should you have a more serious plumbing issue.
- Sewer Line Backups: As the weather heats up and there is more rain, older sewer pipes can be compromised by the additional rainwater entering the sewer lines in small cracks or loose joints. The additional water overwhelms the system and can create sewer backups into your home. Tree roots are another issue that affects sewer lines. Summer months mean roots that are growing more quickly. These roots often grow into and block sewer lines, causing significant sewer backups into homes. Look for any sewer water returning through bathtub drains or into toilets as a first sign of trouble. If you spot this problem, call a professional immediately to assess your sewer lines and how best to repair them.
- Washing Machine Maintenance: Playing outside in the yard, summer camps, bike riding, swimming pools – all these outdoor activities mean more laundry. Make sure to maintain your washing machine to avoid problems that can cause water damage. Washing machine hoses should be replaced approximately every three years to avoid failure. Make sure that drains leading away from the machine are clear and free of clogs or debris. Washing machine leaks and floods, especially with machines located on first or second stories, can cause significant damage to your floors and ceilings.
- Garbage Disposals: Many summer meals include food that should not be put down the disposal. Cornhusks, watermelon rinds, and other fibrous or heavy items are not what most disposals are designed to handle. Of course, always try to refrain from putting fats or cooking oils down the drain. These products, over time, will clog your drains and require professional assistance. Should your kitchen drain or disposal fail, SSI is always available to assist you in the repair.
- Outdoor Hose Bibs Maintenance: Summer is when cars are washed in the driveway, potted plants are watered, and kiddie pools are filled. Your outdoor hoses work hard to complete these tasks. Make sure that your hose bibs are properly maintained on the exterior of your home. Hoses that weren’t disconnected during the winter can damage those bibs. This, coupled with heavy use during the summer, can lead to leaks at the bibs, which are right next to the foundation of your home. These small leaks create dampness at your foundation, waste water, and cause your water utility bills to rise.
- Heavy Rain and Basement Dampness: Summer means heavy rains, often accompanied by high humidity. These two factors combine to create perfect conditions for mold in your basement, and thus mold in your home. Installing a sump pump is a terrific way to help keep water from collecting in your basement or under your basement foundation. If you have a sump pump, make sure it is in good working condition so that, when you need it, you can count on it working. Flooded basements are expensive and time consuming to repair. A working sump pump can prevent this unnecessary damage to your home. SSI installs and maintains sump pumps. Make sure to keep this vital piece of equipment in your home in good working order.