April Showers and Leaks: The Most Common Springtime Plumbing Issues
By Anita Ginsburg
Spring brings warm weather, sunshine and an abundance of flowers, but it also brings about a few unique plumbing problems. While spring showers help your flowers and other plants to grow, rain can also cause plumbing issues. As the weather warms up, be on the lookout for these four springtime plumbing problems. Catching them early can save you a lot of headaches!
Cold winter temperatures can cause pipes to contract or freeze, which can cause tiny cracks. As the weather warms up, pipes begin to expand, causing any tiny cracks to also expand. Old pipes and outdoor plumbing are vulnerable to developing such cracks.
If you notice dripping pipes, standing water, a musty odor or a mysterious increase on your water bill, you could have leaky plumbing. Any leaking pipes must be fixed right away to prevent water damage and mold growth.
Low Water Pressure
Poor water pressure can be caused by a plumbing leak somewhere in your home. These can be hard to find, so you may need to contact a plumber to find them and fix them. It could be somewhere inside, or it could be leaking from the outside pipes that lead into the house.
Spring rainstorms can also cause low water pressure. Because rainwater is heavy and drenches the soil, that weight can put stress on your underground pipes, causing leaks which can lead to low water pressure inside your home.
Slow Draining Sinks and Backed Up Pipes
Just as spring rains can put pressure on your incoming outdoor pipes, the same is true for the pipes leading out towards the sewer. If heavy, rain-soaked soil puts too much pressure on an old or weak sewer pipe, it can result in backed-up sinks and toilets, as well as sewer water flooding your yard. The warmer weather also spurs plant growth, and tree roots can grow through a small crack in a drain line, causing a blockage. In either case, backed up pipes are a serious problem that need immediate attention from your local plumber.
Sump Pump Failure
Basement sump pumps typically don't run during the winter, because it's frozen outside in much of the country. However, once the weather warms up and spring rains flood your basement, you’ll need a working sump pump to clear water from this area. Early in the spring, have your sump pump checked to make sure it's working properly. That way, you can easily avoid a flooded basement.
Spring is just around the corner and now is the time to make sure your plumbing survived the winter and will give you consistent support through the warmer months to come!
This article first appeared on RISMedia's blog, Housecall.