Be proactive in the care and upkeep of your plumbing to avoid costly problems in the future such as burst pipes or undetected leaks.

You probably don't think about your home's plumbing until something goes wrong and then you realize how quickly a small plumbing problem can bleed into something worse. Leaks that occur under the kitchen sink can go undetected for quite a while, for example and when they are finally discovered it is generally because water damage has appeared on the floor or the surrounding areas.

As a home owner or even as renter you should be familiar with where the main water shut off valve is to your home. Under the worse case scenario such as a broken pipe, you can at least limit the amount of water damage to your home by shutting off the water at its source. Ideally you should also be familiar with how to turn off the water to your kitchen and bathroom sinks and toilets. These are the most likely culprits for water leaks and damage in your home.

Be proactive in caring for your home's plumbing and check under the sinks and toilets for water leaks at least once a month. Be suspicious of standing pools of water where they shouldn't be such as the kitchen floor. If you are finding signs of water damage which can include warped floors and counters as well as walls that seem to be pushing outward- do a through check of your water sources in the area.

Water can wick down from a leaky faucet and travel under the subfloor of your kitchen or bath and from there it can easily get into your insulation, walls and even the homes structure. Left undetected long enough water damage can create a large imprint in your savings account.

If you find a leaky shower head or faucet and you don't have the skills to fix it you should make sure you get a plumber to do the job as soon as possible. It is far cheaper to pay for a plumber to do a small job than it is to pay for a plumber to do a large job that began as a small job that was ignored.

If you live in a geographic area that is prone towards freezing cold or cold snaps you need to make sure your pipes are adequately weatherized well ahead of any cold weather. Any pipe that is exposed and not protected by insulation such as those pipes under your sink can get cold enough to freeze, even in a house that isn't freezing. The frozen water inside your pipes can cause the pipe to burst from the pressure. A broken pipe can quickly fill a home with water and depending on how long it goes undetected that water can cause severe damage. Homes that are not properly weatherized and are left vacant for example can become swimming pools by the time the tenant or home owner returns.

By being proactive with the care of your plumbing and vigilant over it with monthly checks, you can ensure that not only is your plumbing working properly but that it is being maintained correctly also.
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