8 Common Springtime Plumbing Emergencies and How to Avoid Them

15 Apr

Many households prepare extensively for plumbing issues that may arise in winter. Indeed, professionals who provide emergency plumbing services will tell you that winters in the region can be extremely tough on your plumbing.

But the arrival of spring doesn’t mean the end of all plumbing problems. On the contrary, this is actually a great time to inspect your plumbing system and ensure that everything is intact and working smoothly before the warmer months ahead.

Here are some of the common plumbing emergencies you’re likely to encounter in spring and how to avoid them:

1. Poor water pressure

Frozen pipes are arguably the biggest concern to your home’s plumbing system as the results of any damage don’t usually show in winter when the pipes freeze. During springtime, when the frozen pipes begin to thaw, you may begin to experience all kinds of problems associated with the low pressure inside your pipes, such as cracking, leaking, and even bursting. A common indicator of these problems is a drastic drop in water pressure throughout your home.

The drop in water pressure could also be the result of a blockage in your main water line. Regardless of the cause, low water pressure suggests problems with your water system that should be investigated by a licensed, professional plumber.

2. Slow drains

If all or most of the drains in your residence are slow, it could be due to a blockage in the sewer line. There are many possible causes of this problem, ranging from tree roots that have grown towards the sewer line in search of water, to small leaks that facilitate the rapid growth and intrusion of vegetation in your sewer line. This is a common springtime problem as the ground begins to unfreeze and any damaged pipes begin to leak.

This can be prevented by asking licensed, professional plumbers to inspect your plumbing system and map its location relative to your landscaping. They can then recommend appropriate changes like rerouting the sewer line and outdoor plumbing or repiping it if it has already been damaged.

3. Leaky pipes

Older plumbing systems are highly susceptible to leaks. This risk can be drastically increased by even the smallest amount of freezing water in the pipes and outdoor plumbing fixtures, which causes cracks and subsequent leaking. You should check for leaks in pipes inside and outside your house, water lines under decks, around outdoor taps, and fixtures connected to your sprinkler system. Common indicators of leaks include foul odours caused by dampness, higher water bills despite your consumption remaining constant, and visible signs of excessive wetness in specific spots inside and outside your house.

It’s best to ask a professional plumber to fix any leaks and inspect your entire plumbing system for the necessary repairs and upgrades. Older homes whose plumbing was installed 40 or 50 years ago should get their pipes inspected to determine how much longer they can stay in place. Otherwise, it may be a good idea to invest in repiping.

4. Blocked gutters

The combination of snowmelt and springtime vegetation growth can quickly cause your gutters to become plugged with leaves, twigs, and other kinds of organic debris. If the debris makes its way into the downspout, it could result in serious blockage and subsequent water damage. To prevent this, you should inspect your gutters regularly and clear any debris as soon as the snow starts to melt and the temperatures begin to warm.

5. Damaged underground sprinkler system

As vegetation begins to grow again after winter dormancy, their roots may spread out far and even breach your main sewer lines or the PVC pipes supplying water to your underground sprinkler system. There have been cases where the roots damage water meter boxes and interrupt water services.

Since you can’t really tell what’s happening underground, the only indicators of a compromised underground piping system are slower draining, low water pressure, and excessive moisture on some spots in your landscape. To avoid this problem, you should hire professional plumbers to reroute your sprinkler system to avoid trees and shrubs, and repair any damaged pipes supplying water to your automatic sprinkler system.

6. Clogged Pipes

With everyone home for the winter holiday parties and your family and guests enjoying extra-long showers, your home’s plumbing system will be working extra hard for a few weeks. But as things begin to return to normal in spring, you may notice the water in your bathroom draining slower than usual, probably because of hair and dirt blocking the drain and causing it to back up.

This is a pretty common problem year round, so it’s important to remove any debris from the drain during scheduled general cleaning. Clogged pipes connected to the kitchen sink may also clog because oil and grease poured down the drain, which solidifies easily when the temperatures drop. You may use a plunger or plumbing snake to try and unblock the kitchen or bathroom drain. If this doesn’t work, contact your plumber.

7. Flooding

As the frozen water sitting in the ground begins to liquidate, your home may be at risk of flooding, depending on the kind of drainage in place. If this problem has occurred before, you should hire a professional plumber or landscaper to design proper drainage and eliminate this problem from arising in the future.

8. Corroded metal pipes

If your house still uses metal pipes, you’re likely to face the problem of corrosion – a product of the combination of water, air, and metal. A professional plumber may propose different kinds of solutions depending on your budget, such as applying an anti-corrosive coating on the metal pipes, or changing your home’s entire plumbing to a non-corrosive PVC.

Emergency Expert Plumbing Services

Plumbing emergencies can strike any time, either as the culmination of a small issue over time or due to the sudden failure of a key component. Regardless of the cause of the problem, the only course of action is to contact emergency plumbing services. Even well-maintained plumbing systems can fail due to unexpected circumstances. But should the unthinkable happen, it’s best to entrust your home to the professionals.

For more information about how to avoid a plumbing emergency in the spring, call Brothers Plumbing at (416) 656-6717 or contact us here.

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