As you could probably imagine, we spend a lot of time under homes and buildings. A majority of the time we are called out by realtors who just received an inspection report that states the plumbing under the home or building is falling apart. The other majority of the time we get a call from home owners or managers who smell some funk from under the property (or hear water leaking). It’s not too often people hang out in attics or crawlspaces, so let us tell you what we often find.
Besides black widows and rodents, pipe leaks are our most common discovery. As you probably know most plumbing is hidden behind walls or under floors. So how do you know if something is leaking? Well, if there is a leak in the wall, you’ll know when the sheet-rock starts to plump up or paint becomes discolored. But detecting a leak under the property is tricky. If it is a waste line that is leaking, you’ll more than likely smell it. If it is a water leak, you may hear it or see a big difference in the water bill. If it is a small leak, it will be hard to detect.
Most the leaks we find under homes and buildings are small, usually several drips a minute (which do add up). Our suggestion is to conduct a property inspection once a year. Give us a call and have us do a thorough inspection of your property. Hiring us for an hour to perform such a service could end up saving you a lot of money and trouble. If you leave leaks or pipe breaks unattended for too long, you’re going to accumulate quite the mess and you know what that means right? Yup, time for a restoration company and a hefty bill. So with that said, I think it’s a good idea to be preventative and make sure you’re plumbing is in good shape (especially if you’re in a older property and have not been in the crawlspace or attic in several years).
Here are a few other tips that will help keep the plumbing under your home in good shape. Make sure your water lines are properly strapped; water flow causes vibration in pipes, vibration causes pipes to come loose and leak. Another recommendation we make to people who have vacation homes or dont frequently stay at home is to make sure water is ran from every fixture every so often. Why? Because crawlspaces tend to get really hot and if there are no liquids running through the pipes (mainly ABS and other plastic based pipes) they tend to dry up and crack.