The majority of American citizens report plumbing disasters either when trying a new DIY project, or due to their own negligence in maintaining their home or business. Some common household plumbing issues include dripping faucets, broken pipes, clogged drains and malfunctioning water heaters. In many cases, you can deal with these basic problems yourself. Yet frequently, DIY results in more harm than any good. Thus, it is best to hire a professional plumbing company in the case of an emergency.

Here are five of the worst plumbing disasters that can happen in your home and some tips to prevent them. There are more than five plumbing disasters, but we’ve picked five of the worst ones to get you started on asking the right questions. These incidents are truly disasters, so avoiding them is definitely a good idea.

1.  Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are quite common during the winter months as the air outside wreaks havoc on pipes in poorly insulated parts of the home, such as under the sink, around the walls and in crawl spaces. Every year more than a million pipes freeze and burst in the US. These frozen pipes can escalate into severe water loss if not treated in time. A crack in a pipe as small as one-eighth of an inch can result in the loss of 250 gallons of water every day.

Tip:  To avoid pipe freeze, it is suggested to keep the cabinet doors open so that some heat can reach the pipe. A space heater can also be directed to ensure that warm air reaches the water lines on particularly cold nights. One can also allow a tap to run just enough to drip every few seconds; this small amount of motion in your water supply will usually prevent pipes from freezing.

2.  Leaking Pipes or Valves

If you have a leak in your plumbing, the first thing you need to do is be aware of it. If you notice that your floor or walls are wet, stained, or damaged, or if your flooring or walls feel unusually warm or cold, then you may need to investigate whether you have a leak. If you have one, time is precious; minute by minute that leak will saturate your wood and drywall, and put your electrical system at risk of a short. Pooling water will also provide an ideal environment for mold and mildew growth. The longer you wait to address a leak, the more damage it will cause.

Even if you have the skillset required to shut off your water and replace a valve or pipe connection, you will want a professional plumber to perform the repair. An experienced professional will be able to ensure a lasting repair better than you can. Professional plumbers, like the kind we employ at Biard & Crockett, will be able to correctly assess the damage to your home or business by locating where all of the leaking water has traveled. That professional will be able to dry up the water, clean up sewage and/or mildew, and disinfect the area. Also, if the water has caused damage to your walls, flooring, or electrical system, an experienced plumber will be able to perform the necessary repairs to your home and restore it to its original function and aesthetic.

Tip:  Once you discover a leak in your home, call an expert plumber.

3.  Slab Leaks

Slab leaks are notoriously bad. Any leak inside your building’s concrete foundation is quite challenging to find and repair. These leaks are often caused by cracked water and sewer lines. The leak might result from corrosion or movement of your concrete slab foundation.

Because slab leaks lie beneath or inside of your concrete foundation, a professional plumber is your only recourse for dealing with them. Failing to repair one is not an option; once you have a slab leak, the best case scenario is that it will slowly undermine your foundation. In the worst cases, the water will eventually back up inside the house and do the damage caused by any normal leak – only you will be unable to access the leak itself.

Tip:  It is important to look for common signs to know if there is a slab leak. Some of the most visible signs are sound of running water even when there is no water used, high water bills, moisture under the carpet, discoloration or cracks on the ceiling, floor and walls, and warped hardwood or laminated flooring. It is best to call a professional as soon as any of these signs appear in your home.

4.  Water Backflow

Each year many citizens are affected by waterborne diseases, and one of the most common causes of waterborne diseases is water backflow. Backflow happens when contaminated water accidentally enters the drinking water supply. Thus, it is critical to install a backflow prevention device to avoid such contamination. A small mistake when installing a backflow prevention device can prove to be dangerous, so it is advisable to hire professionals to install and test it.

Tip:  It is best to install the latest and highest-quality backflow prevention device. Some common types of backflow prevention devices include pressure breakers, atmospheric vacuum, double check valves and reduced pressure zone assemblies. Our experts help you decide the most suitable device according to your requirements.

5.  Sewer Blockages

This is one of the worst problems faced by households. The severity of the problem is multiplied when accompanied by a broken or collapsed line. Clogs caused by roots, foreign objects, external digging, or ground shaking might result in collapse or breakage. Breakage makes the situation worse for the residents, because it disrupts the normal function of the house.

Tip:  It is best to look for signs of a collapsed sewer, like the smell of sewage, absence of water in your toilet, a visible accumulation of sewage, or strange noise coming from the toilet. If you notice these signs, hire an expert to inspect your sewer lines with a drain camera, so that you can see the problem for yourself.

BCPSI is a one-stop-shop for all your plumbing needs. Our experts work hard to get you the desired results as soon as possible. No matter how severe your plumbing disaster is, we have seen it before, and we have the solution.