The thought of Valentine’s Day tends to conjure up visions of candlelit dinners, wine by a fireplace, or a dinner out with friends. If none of those scenarios is really appealing to you this year, maybe it is time to show your home some love. After all, it is a reflection of you, right? Home maintenance may not get you all excited, but taking proper care of your home can ensure you don’t have emergency repairs when you least expect it.
Show Your Plumbing Some Extra TLC
If we take Valentine’s Day out of the equation and just adopt a broader perspective on the month of February, it is undoubtedly a month for love and appreciation. February bears the zodiac sign of Aquarius. Aquarians are natural humanitarians, so it is no surprise that even during one of the chilliest months of the year, it still brims with warm sentiment.
Your plumbing system is one of those things that needs a little extra TLC at times. When you think of plumbing, the last thing that comes to mind is romance, right? Well, it depends on how you look at it. If you needed an excuse to tackle those unsavory chores around the house, now is the time. So roll up your sleeves and show your plumbing some extra love this Valentine’s Day.
- Lend an Ear – It may sound corny, but simply taking a moment to listen to your plumbing can help you hone in on plumbing problems before they get more serious. Things like unusual dripping sounds, running toilets, clangs or bumps coming from the inside of your walls, can all spell trouble for your home’s plumbing system. If your ear picks up on any of the aforementioned sounds, you may want to consider calling a professional plumber to come and conduct a thorough leak detection and repair service. More than likely, if you haven’t noticed it before, it is probably a simple fix. The best rule of thumb when it comes to the upkeep of your plumbing system is to catch things before they get worse.
- Fix It Now – As we mentioned before, catching plumbing problems before they escalate into mini catastrophes is always best. You may be able to fix smaller plumbing issues with a simple YouTube video rather than calling a professional. But don’t get in over your head. Things like a loose fixture on your toilet or sink is probably a task you can handle. For situations like slow drains and leaky faucets, it may be wise to get the help of a professional plumber. The point is, don’t wait for things to get worse. If pipes are leaking behind the scenes, it can lead to water damage, and that is a nightmare to properly fix. Clogged drains and sewers can also swell to become much larger problems. If you watch a few DIY videos and are feeling confused and out of your element, then call a licensed plumber. A small service call will cost far less than getting rid of water damage or a partial pipe replacement.
- Prepare Pipes for the Winter Chill – This is something that you should consider before temperatures start to dip, but as long as you are well informed, you can prepare for next season. This is most likely a job for the pros, but if you are extra handy around the house this could be a great project to keep you busy. Winterizing your pipes is nothing more than wrapping them in foam insulation and tightly fastening it with plastic zip-ties. Piping insulation resembles pool noodles, just to give you a visual for those that need it. Either way, it is a relatively easy job but it does depend on your pipes being easily accessible.
- Lend a Helping Hand to Your Garbage Disposal – Despite popular belief, your garbage disposal isn’t built to handle all food items. To take some of the burden off of your garbage disposal, so that it lasts longer with fewer repairs, make sure to dispose of certain foods and liquids properly. Things you should not dispose of down your drain or in a garbage disposal are paper products, fats and grease, fruit pits, bones or large pieces of food.
- Flush out Your Water Heater – Flushing out your water heater is a largely overlooked plumbing maintenance job, but it is so very helpful if you want to extend the life of your water heater. Let’s face it, water heaters aren’t cheap. The longer you can hang on to the one you have, the better. Flushing out your water heater on an annual basis should be on your list of yearly home maintenance chores. It is a simple process. Because unfiltered plumbing water is more inclined to calcify, it tends to create build up over time. By flushing out your water heater you’re removing any sediment that might have accumulated, thus extending the life of your water heater.
- Don’t Neglect Your Drains – Drain cleaning is a habit all homeowners should get into the habit of. Clogged drains can lead to some pretty serious plumbing issues if left unattended. Instead of reaching for the nearest toxic concoction from the store, it may be wise to rid your drains of gunk regularly to avoid having to call a professional. Chemicals and plungers can work to exacerbate the problem, rather than offer a long term remedy. It may sound gross, but for bathroom sinks and tubs, you can unfurl a wire clothes hanger and stick it down the drain to pull out clumps of hair that may have accumulated in the drain. If you notice that your sinks and bathtubs have water pooling and are slow to drain, it may be time to call a plumbing professional to service your drains.
When in Doubt, Make a Date With Your Plumber
If manual labor just isn’t your thing, but you do believe your plumbing system needs to be checked out and given a clean bill of health, then call your local plumber for assistance. Don’t take your plumbing for granted. You’d be surprised how awful life can get without it. Making sure to properly maintain your home’s plumbing system can save you a ton of money in the future. The cost of repairs and higher water bills can be overwhelming, so catch plumbing problems before that turn into real emergencies.