Contending with leaks in your home can be a trial. Things can grow even more complicated if you don’t have the proper tools on hand. What tools do you need to protect your home from future and immediate leaks?
What Can Leaks Do to Your Home?
First and foremost, what can an unattended leak do to your home? As it turns out, a fair bit. Leaks have the potential not only to damage any belongings you may have in storage but also to cause serious damage to your floor, walls, foundation, and other structural supports. Some of the most common damages to appear after a leak breaks out in your home include:
- Sagging floors
- Bowing walls
- Mold growth
- Sticking doors and windowsills
- Foggy windows
- Standing water
Where does the water that causes these problems around your home come from? Depending on the weather, it can come from inside or outside of your home. Heavy rains, of course, can cause your basement, crawl space, or other areas of your home to start flooding. However, if you don’t make a point to take care of your pipes, then your main line or offshoots may also develop leaks.
Tools for Early Detection
You may not have to contend with leaking pipes at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have trouble in the future. It is in your best interest to try and prepare for future leaks so you can either detect them before they develop or react to them as quickly as possible.
As you’re putting together a toolkit to help you prevent leaks, you can keep the following tools on hand:
- Listening discs – Leaks aren’t quiet. If you have a listening disc on hand, you can tour your home on a regular basis and listen for any signs of damage. If you work with a professional inspector, you can develop a better idea of where your drywall may be most vulnerable to damage and, in turn, check those areas more often to try and get ahead of a potential leak.
- Thermal scanners – The presence of moisture and standing water in your home changes the temperature of the room that water is in. As such, you can use a thermal scanner to assess the state of your walls, ceiling, and floor. Any spots that seem unusually cool, while the rest of the home comes in at a normal temperature, may be cause for concern.
- Home cameras – You can’t always keep an eye on your pipes and walls. Home camera systems can help you determine when a leak breaks out and where it originates. You can even set up your home monitor system to alert you when something goes amiss in your basement or crawl space.
- Soil probes – You can use a soil probe to check on the pressure of your pipes and identify any pressure-related leaks along your main pipelines. Plumbing leaks can also cause extensive sewer line damage, which can be disguised as a flooded puddle in your yard.
Tools for Active Leaks
No matter how well you prepare, you may still find yourself contending with an unexpected leak at some point in your tenure as a homeowner. In these cases, you’ll want to have a different set of tools on hand to contend with the immediate consequences of a leak.
Before anything else, be sure to find your main water meter valve and turn it off. This will stop the water from proceeding down the pipes to your new leak and keep the water from causing more damage than it already has. With the situation now under control, you can gather your tools and proceed.
- Pliers – You’ll want pliers on hand to help you get a hold on any piping or plumbing parts that have broken away from your main line. Do not try to grab these loose parts with your hands, as you risk hurting yourself and damaging the part in question.
- Pipe wrenches – If your pliers don’t do the job, then you’ll want to graduate up to a pipe wrench to get your main line back in operable condition.
- Tubing cutters – If you have copper pipes running through your home, tubing cutters can help you cut through damaged piping without shooting too much debris throughout your home.
- Caulk or plumber’s tape – Caulk won’t hold off a leak for long, but it may just be the difference between a flooded basement and basic seepage. Caulk is ideal for plumbing emergencies and can help you hold off a substantial leak for the few hours it may take to get a professional contractor out to your house. Plumber’s tape can substitute for caulk if you’re contending with a leak on top of a threaded connection between two pipes.
Getting in Touch with a Professional
The contractors at A1 Sewer & Drain serve the greater Hampton Roads area, going all the way north to Williamsburg and south to the eastern shore. We can inspect your home with you and help you identify any spots along your pipes or walls that may suffer or have suffered from water damage. With a free services quote in hand, you can then determine what repairs and waterproofing measures you may want to invest in.