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Preparing Your Plumbing for Spring

Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner here in the Tri-State Area, which means that many people are starting to think about preparing their homes for spring. Homeowners tend to consider seasonal plumbing issues to be a winter problem; however, the rising temperatures and increased rainfall of typical spring weather come with their fair share of plumbing issues too.

Here are some tips for preparing your home for spring and avoiding common plumbing issues with preventative measures to keep your plumbing system working well.

Check Your Fixtures

After a long winter season, plumbing fixtures often need to be repaired or replaced due to the strain of the cold weather. Cold temperatures tend to make fixtures shrink, and then they expand to again once the weather gets warmer. With this expansion, cracks can occur and leaks can happen. Hidden pipework is often subjected to these conditions rather than the most visible fixtures, so you may need to contact a professional to inspect hard-to-reach places.

Look for Leaks

Speaking of leaks, now is a good time to check all areas of your home that have plumbing to see if there is any water leakage. Common leakage areas include toilets, bathtub faucets, and sinks in the bathroom. For the toilet, you can test for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the back of the tank and seeing if any colored water moves to the toilet bowl in a few minutes.

Elsewhere in the house, make sure to check around the kitchen faucet and the utility room faucet too for potential leaks. Basements are also prone to leaks, so check areas where pipes and faucets exist in this lower level to ensure everything is in working order. Beyond the obvious pooling of water, damp spots and moldy smells can also indicate that you have a plumbing leak.

Assess Your Drainage

Good drainage is essential in any plumbing system so assess your drains and take notice of how quickly water goes down them. Shower drains are particularly problematic because this is where hair often accumulates from family members’ and guests’ showers. Now is a good time to remove clogs if you’ve been putting them off or forgot to do address them during the winter months. Rather than being quick to grab harsh chemical drain cleaning products, first try natural mixtures with vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, and hot water to loosen clogs and prevent plumbing damage.

Remove Mineral Build-Up

Another tip for preparing a home for spring is to remove the mineral build-up that has collected on shower heads and faucets throughout the house. This is especially important if you live in a home with hard water because your fixtures won’t function as well with a coating of mineral deposits over them.

A natural DIY solution for this plumbing issue is to fill a plastic bag with vinegar and attach it with a rubber band to loosen up the minerals. After leaving it set for a couple hours, remove the bag and scrub away the remaining build-up with a brush to reveal fixtures that look and perform like new again.

Test Your Sump Pump

Sump pumps are important for drainage, especially when springtime rolls around. With more rainy days on the way, your sump pump will be needed to prevent flooding on your property. It is recommended to service your pump by early spring so that proper drainage can occur with the winter snow melt and first spring rains.

Flush the Water Heater

Another proactive measure for spring is to flush your water heater to remove build-up and avoid future plumbing issues. Flushing the water heater will also help the appliance run with greater efficiency to conserve energy and keep your utility bills in check. Depending on how old your water heater is, you may need to schedule a seasonal tune up twice per year. Without regular maintenance and checking its functionality, a water heater can burst and cause flooding to your basement or utility room where it is located.

Evaluate Outdoor Plumbing

In the early spring, it’s also a smart idea to check your outdoor plumbing in addition to your indoor fixtures. Outdoor plumbing takes a particularly hard beating in the winter and is prone to freezing. Test your outdoor faucets and look for any leaks. If the water pressure is low, it could mean you have a broken pipe that’s in need of repair.

Clean Up the Yard

Yardwork might not initially seem like a way to address plumbing issues, but it can actually make a big difference in how your pipes and fixtures operate in the spring. The winter season often causes gutters to become filled with leaves, trash, and other debris. Make sure that your home’s gutters are clear of debris because this can cause leaks, water damage, and flooding if left unattended.

Also, pay attention to storm drains to make sure they will work well when large amounts of spring rain start coming down. Keeping your yard generally free of debris will also help to prevent it from collecting in these places in the future and compromising your plumbing system and your home’s foundation.

Shop for Supplies

After assessing any damage and determining what needs to be done next, it’s time to shop for the plumbing supplies your home needs for the spring season. Central Plumbing Specialties has the experience and customer-oriented attitude to serve your plumbing needs without breaking your budget. We serve both plumbing professionals and homeowners with DIY skills in our various locations and within a Tri-State delivery area. Browse our website or stop by today to embrace the spring season and get your home ready for warmer and more pleasant weather ahead. You can also request more information about the products and services we offer by filling out our online form.

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