Your house wouldn’t feel much like a home without its water systems. You wouldn’t last long without water to drink, of course, and water is also vital for plenty of other everyday activities: from cooking and cleaning to showering and using the bathroom. That’s why humans have been harnessing the power of water for centuries, directing it into our communities and into our homes – where it makes for an essential but dangerous roommate.
Your home’s water systems are like the ones in just about every home in the Western world, but don’t let that blind you to the incredible power of water. While your running water, water fixtures, and sewer connections are all normal, they’re also systems that deserve your respect. Turn your back on water, and you’ll find that it can take over your space and leave your home unlivable.
Respecting water in your home means understanding that any system designed to direct it or contain it needs your constant vigilance and care. It means that problems with your water systems need immediate attention. And it means looking for signs that water has already escaped your systems and attacking the problems that causes immediately.
Keep up with your water systems
Your plumbing system is vital to your comfort. It’s also vital to the safety of your home.
No, your home doesn’t need running water to stay standing. But the same plumbing systems that give you your running water can cause devastating problems for your space. Burst pipes and chronic leaks can flood your space, breed mold, and even weaken your home’s structural integrity. So maintaining your plumbing system is an important part of protecting your home itself.
In fact, this is true of every plumbing-related system in your home. Every water system, from your hot water heater to your sewer piping or septic tank system, needs to be maintained as if your entire home depends on it – because it does!
Water’s awesome power
If you don’t maintain your home’s vital water systems, you’ll find out pretty quickly just how devastating water can be.
Take flooding, for example. The most obvious problem with water can occur thanks to burst pipes and other plumbing problems – though it can also appear courtesy of flash floods and other natural disasters. The consequences include ruined flooring, damage to paint and walls, damage to your home’s important structures, and damage to your belongings.
Then there’s mold. Damp areas can breed mold. Fungi has no place in your home, and breathing in mold spores is bad for your health. Stop leaks early, don’t allow excessive condensation to build up in your kitchen or bathroom, and call mold remediation specialists right away if you spot an issue.
Your sewer or septic system can back up and cause flood – or it can flow backwards (a problem called, sensibly enough, “backflow”) and let contaminated water loose in your clean-water systems.
Prepare early, act fast
In each of these cases, two strategies are essential for combating the issue: early preparation and quick action.
Early preparation means being proactive about maintenance and repairs. If you see a water spot caused by a small leak, for instance, you can choose to call the plumber right away and fix it – or you can choose to put off the repair and wait until you have a mold issue as well. You can guess which is cheaper!
Early preparation also means having homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Make sure that your policy covers potential water disasters.
No matter how well prepared you are, you may someday find yourself dealing with a water disaster. If you do, the best course of action is to call the experts quickly. Call your insurance company, if you have one, and call professional plumbers, water damage specialists, and mold remediation experts as needed. The longer you wait, the worse things become – and this is only more true of a disaster, which can escalate faster than any leak or minor problem!
Water is a powerful force, and it can ruin your space fast. Respect it! Choose to invest in your home’s vital water systems, stay on top of important maintenance, and act fast to counteract problems.