When you think about home improvement projects, plumbing and drainage may be the last thing on your mind. Even though these systems are out of view, however, they play an essential role in your home and in day-to-day life. Plumbing carries both hot and cold water to all of the water fixtures in your home. Each fixture also has a drain line, carrying used water out of your house. If you’re having problems with these systems or want to improve them, you may need plumbing and drainage home improvement.
One of the most important parts of the plumbing system is the hot water heater. If you’re having issues with your hot water (if, for instance, the hot water changes back to cold after only a minute in the shower), you may have a problem. Problems can include built-up sediment or a leak in the heater or hot water line. A professional plumber can check on these issues for you and suggest a solution. If you find that your hot water takes too long to heat or doesn’t last for long enough, you may want to upgrade to a better water heater. For the most efficient heaters, you should look for an energy factor (EF) rating of above 0.56 for gas units and above 0.88 for electric units. Improving your water heater can give you the perfect showers and baths you’ve been hoping for and keep you happy with your hot water.
A drainage and plumbing professional can also help you fix any issues with your pipes. Slowly draining water can indicate blockage in the drainage pipes. You may want to try using commercially available drain cleaners, but you should be aware that these cleaners can damage your plumbing system and eventually lead to leaks. A professional can use a pipe snake or professional cleaners to fix the problem without causing damage.
Another drainage problem that can be fixed through home improvement is improperly working gutters. In an extreme case, water may be flowing over the sides of your gutters. Smaller warning signs include vertical streaks of dirt along the sides of the gutters or paint peeling off the outside of the house in vertical strips. Over time, these issues can create significant damage to your siding, including rot and ruined paint. The problem may simply be leaves or other debris clogging your gutters. If this is the case you may be able to fix the problem yourself or you can have a professional clean your gutters out relatively inexpensively. If the root of the problem is not clogged gutters, your gutters may be too small or pitched improperly. A professional can replace or re-install them for you to prevent further damage to your siding.
Another common issue is water that is discoloured or that smells odd. Your tap water should be clear and odour-free, and anything else may indicate a problem. Cloudy water likely means that there is excess air in your pipes. If your water is yellow, red, or brown, there is probably contamination from some kind of metal, most likely iron, rust, or sulphur. If you are experiencing any of these issues, a professional plumber can work on your pipes to ensure that you have safe and clean water.
Plumbing and drainage are an essential part of home maintenance, and proper attention and upkeep will ensure that you have plenty of safe water year-round.