You love your home and you want it to stay in good condition. Part of maintaining your home is plumbing maintenance, which is important to help prevent water damage and keep water flowing smoothly and efficiently for your needs. Water damage can come from many sources, such as a leaky pipe, an appliance that fails, a broken water fixture handle, and an overflowing toilet to name a few. Even small water leak problems can cause damage in your home and contribute to mold and mildew proliferation. The best solution is preventing water damage in the first place, which the following seven tips address.

Maintain Water Heater

Water heaters are an essential appliance that deliver hot water for showers, clothes washing, cooking, and other needs. Professional water heater maintenance is required from time to time to keep your water heater from developing leaks that can cause water damage in your home. The buildup of sediment and minerals inside the water heater can cause water leaks at the drain valve, the temperature and pressure relief valve, and the gaskets. Your plumbing professional should drain and clean the water heater every couple of years and replace the anode rod every 3 to 5 years. The anode rod removes impurities from the water that would otherwise corrode the water heater and parts.

Inspect Sinks and Drains

Take a look under the sinks in your home to make sure there are no water leaks. Small water leaks eventually become bigger water leaks that can damage cabinetry, flooring, and walls. So, repairing leaks early is smart—even minor leaks. When it comes to your kitchen sink, be mindful of what you pour down the drain. Avoid pouring grease as it will stick to pipes and trap other debris, which eventually leads to clogs and possible damage to pipes.

Check Appliances For Water Leaks

Any appliances in your home that use or produce water should be checked regularly. These appliances include clothes washers, the central AC system, the water heater, dishwashers, and refrigerators with ice makers and water dispensers. Make a point to look beneath these appliances for water or signs of water leaks like water stains. If you see water underneath the clothes washer, water heater, or dishwasher, you would be wise to call your plumber.

For the central AC system, check the indoor air handler cabinet for signs of water leaks. A central AC system drains away a lot of condensation that collects on the cooling coil in the cabinet. A clogged drain or other problem will often result in water leaks in your home.

Locate Water Shut-off Valves

At the first sign of a plumbing emergency, such as a broken pipe or an appliance that is spilling water inside your home, you should turn off the appropriate water shut-off valve. Therefore, it’s important to know where all the shut-off valves are located in your home and on your property. The most important shut-off valve is your home’s main water shut off. This valve will turn off all water to your home. It is typically located in the basement near the foundation facing the street. Other accessible water shut-off valves include toilets, beneath sinks, water heater, and the clothes washer.

Turn Off Water Main When Away

Whenever you are away from home for more than a few days, such as a vacation, it’s a good idea to turn off the main water shut-off valve. If a water pipe, hose, line, or valve bursts or fails, you may come home to soaked carpets, floors, and walls. Once the water main shut-off valve is off, turn on a cold water tap to allow water in the line to drain out and relieve pressure.

Maintain Sump Pump

Sump pumps are great little workhorses that can help prevent water damage in your home in the event of flooding. If you don’t have a sump pump installed in your basement, it’s a very good idea to install one. Talk to your plumber about that.

If you do have a sump pump, you want to make sure that it is working properly. Test your sump pump every couple of months by pouring water into the sump pit. The sump pump should power on and pump the water out. If it doesn’t work properly, call your plumber right away.

Winterize Your Pipes

Water pipes in the unheated areas of your home are at risk of freezing and rupturing during cold weather. Winterizing your pipes can help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, and it also provides hot water faster at water outlets and fixtures. Wrap plumbing pipes with foam tubes. For very vulnerable pipes, such as pipes in unheated garages and basements, consider using automatic electric heat cable tape that will keep water flowing to your home even if temperatures dip well below zero.

Following these seven tips, you can help prevent water damage in your home. For professional help with these plumbing tips, for a plumbing inspection, and for plumbing repairs and appliance installation, contact the pros at MN Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Water Cleanup online or by calling (320) 207-1079!