Exploring Emergency Plumbing Services

3 Springtime Strategies For Preventing Residential Water Damage

by April Rivera

If you're like many homeowners, you're more than happy to leave the frigid temperatures, freeze warnings, and high utility bills of the winter months behind. But as you welcome the spring sunshine, keep an eye out for some new seasonal threats to your home's interior and exterior drainage systems. The warmer weather can present opportunities for cracked pipes and damaged gutters to make those sunny days less bright for you. Here are three steps you can take to make the transition in style.

1. Take Stock of Your Pipes

Even if you heed the meteorologist's annual warnings to wrap your exterior or exterior-facing plumbing pipes, extreme cold may have sneaked in and caused the pipes to freeze anyway. At the first temperate opportunity, remove the wrappings and examine the pipes for any signs of cracks or leakage. If you turn the tap and get nothing, the pipe may have frozen or even burst. If you still get no water after gently warming the pipe with a hair dryer, leave the faucet on but shut off your home's main water valve until you can get a plumber to inspect the system.

Some leaks may prove especially hard to track down. If your water meter level looks suspiciously low, check the water hoses and attachments on major appliances such as washing machines. If you don't see any obvious leak, record the water meter level and then switch off the water supply to all your appliances and fixtures. If the level continues to drop mysteriously, it's time to call professional leak detection services.

2. Watch Those Tree Roots

Spring means growth, rebirth, and renewal -- but just for flowers and lawns, but also for trees. Those giant shade trees in your yard will come out of their winter hibernation, and when they do, their massive roots will grow. These tree roots can easily crack or infiltrate the sewer line to your house, causing everything from a slow but costly dribble to a major emergency.

Make vigilance and prevention your watchwords when it comes to springtime root growth. For starters, schedule a fiber-optic sewer line inspection from a plumbing service equipped to offer such services. A fiber-optic cable threaded into the sewer line relays images back to a video monitor, giving detailed views of every inch of the pipe's interior. If you see signs of cracks, replace that section of pipe now, not after you've had to call for emergency plumbing aid.

3. Check Your Roof Drainage System

Water doesn't just move inside the pipes in your home or along sewer lines under your lawn -- it also runs down your roof, through your gutters, and down the downspout. This exterior drainage system plays a critical role in preventing water from damaging your home. But if all those leaves that fell during the autumn and winter months are blocking your gutters, spring rain will have nowhere to go. It then erodes your roof shingles and may seep into the roof and attic, causing serious rot. Accumulations of ice known as ice dams may even have pulled your gutters away from the roof's edge, rendering them useless.

Now that winter's worst has come and gone, it's time to take a careful look at your roof drainage system. You can scoop or wash out any obvious debris in your gutters and downspouts yourself. But if you don't feel confident on ladders and/or you think you have structural damage, plenty of drain services will be happy to apply their professional expertise to the subject. In addition to careful, thorough drain cleaning and any necessary repairs, give careful consideration to the purchase of gutter guards. These handy screens can help keep debris, vermin, and other unwanted winter leavings out of your gutters. If your gutters or roof sustained damage due to ice dams, think about adding thermal insulation to your roof before next winter rolls around.

An attentive eye and willingness to make fixes can help you enjoy all the beauty and comfort of spring weather with none of the potential downside of water damage to your home. Contact businesses like Calhoun Plumbing for a consultation and/or inspection.