Be Wise. Conduct Routine Inspections
Just like all the other building materials in your home or office, plumbing systems age and deteriorate over time. This is a problem with all homes, but especially important if you own a home that is not occupied 12 months out of the year. In the Colorado Area, people sometime have vacation homes, second homes, or rentals – especially in the ski area. These homes are especially vulnerable to water damage since it’s less likely that occupants will notice leaks. Whether your home is a permanent home or a home enjoyed at certain times of the year, why not develop the habit of inspecting all accessible pipes, drains, hoses, and valves to ensure they are in good shape? Remember, a close inspection can prevent disaster later. This is especially important if your home is over 20 years old.
What should you look for? Specifically, take the time to look for condensation and possible broken water lines. Look for subtle changes as noted below:
- Condensation in the HVAC system. As your system cools warm air, some condensation is normal. This condensation should collect into the system’s drain pan – if it’s working properly and it’s not clogged. Excessive condensation that collects on the ducts and drips outside the system signals a need for service – immediately.
- Condensation or oxidation on metal screws, nails, and fixtures. If condensation occurs on metal surfaces, there is probably not enough ventilation. This can occur in an attic, or on the roof. Either way, closer inspection by an expert is warranted.
- Inspect shutoff valves. Are they getting older? It’s not unusual for older valves to leak slowly. Honestly, by replacing these valves you can save a lot of hassle later!
- Pull out your refrigerator and inspect the water line. A slow leak can do a lot of damage. Even a pinhole leak can damage drywall, warp floor boards and damage the subfloor. Be sure to keep the refrigerator water line and freezer clear of mold and debris.
- Take a look at the water heater. With age, a water heater can crack at the joint, which will cause water to leak below the drywall. Worn out valves should be replaced. Consider replacing water heaters as they get older.
Giving your home an inspection for a few hours at the start of every season can prevent serious trouble. If you see any suspicious areas, schedule necessary repairs before costly damage can occur.