Many first-time homebuyers are surprised to learn how often they might need to call someone to their home to fix a plumbing problem, but a little bit of regular plumbing maintenance can mean avoiding some of those repair bills. Note a few maintenance tips that new homeowners will want to consider for their first home, to keep their plumbing pipes and fixtures in good repair.
Insulate the pipes
Before winter arrives, check the insulation of your home's plumbing pipes so you know those pipes won't freeze once the temperature drops. A frozen pipe can easily burst, causing a flood, or crack and then leak, increasing the risk of mould developing behind the home's walls.
If the home's plumbing pipes are inaccessible, call a plumber to check on this insulation for you. He or she may also give you recommendations on how to avoid a frozen pipe in your home, such as adding insulation to the basement itself, or caulking around basement and laundry room windows. A plumber can also note which faucet in the home you might keep dripping overnight during winter months, to keep water flowing and avoid having it freeze in those pipes.
Clean drain traps
Shower drains often get clogged with hair, slowing down the flow of water through the home's plumbing pipes. Water is needed to push solid waste through pipes, so regularly clearing out hair and other debris from a shower drain, even if the bathtub still empties, can help to avoid eventual blockages. The more people who use a particular shower, and the longer their hair or the more hair they lose in the shower, the more often you'll want to clean out that trap!
Be mindful of the garbage disposal
As with a shower drain, allowing solid waste to build up in the kitchen's garbage disposal can lead to eventual clogs and blockages. To sharpen the blades of your home's garbage disposal, run hot water over the sink drain, turn on the disposal, and drop in some ice, one cube at a time. The rough texture of the ice will help to smooth out any nicks on those blades, making them sharper and better able to chop food debris.
To clear food debris from the kitchen sink's pipes, run hot water over the drain and pour in some thick dish soap, using a brand without added lotions. That soap will help to wash away debris that might be stuck in the pipes under the sink, keeping water flowing properly and helping to avoid blockages and backup.
If you need extra help to stay on top of these tasks, contact local maintenance plumbing services.