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Common plumbing issues can result from faulty installation, equipment malfunctions, or inadequate maintenance. Old, damaged, or inefficient pipework may lead to blockages or leaks.
Consequences of plumbing issues are often very obvious. No one wants to open a door and discover a flooded room or suddenly lose water pressure with a head covered in shampoo suds. Some consequences of plumbing problems in St. Petersburg, FL, are not as obvious, but they still damage homes.
HVAC Systems and Condensate Lines
The majority of residential HVAC systems are not integrated with a home’s plumbing system in any way. Most plumbing problems have no impact on HVAC systems, but this is not universal. Plumbing failures linked to HVAC condensation lines can cause HVAC malfunctions and damage the home overall.
Cooling processes produce condensation that accumulates inside the air handler. HVAC drain lines carry condensation out of the home. Most drain lines travel through an exterior wall and drain into the ground, but some condensate lines are connected to sewer lines. Problems in the sewer line force condensation back up into the HVAC unit. Condensation builds up and drains inside the home. The water damages interior walls, flooring, baseboards, and ceilings. Small amounts of draining water often go unnoticed for an extended period, and the moisture prompts mold and mildew growth inside walls, under carpets, and even in furniture or curtains.
Most condensation lines are made of poly vinyl chloride, or PVC, tubing. Condensate lines routed through walls and ceilings are susceptible to broken joints, ruptures, and cracks. A compromised condensate line lets water slowly leak from the ruptured area.
Homeowners should turn off HVAC systems and the main water valves immediately after noticing backed-up or ruptured drain lines. Contact professional plumbing services to fix sewer line blockages and similar problems. Regular service including HVAC line inspections, along with flushing and cleaning, ensure problems are caught early. Maintenance may even prevent a problem from developing in the first place.
Mold and Mildew
Leaks are one of the most common results of plumbing issues. Consequences of long term leaks go beyond easily visible water damage. Leaking pipes let water into places it is not supposed to be, such as inside walls. A wall’s interior is usually warm, slightly humid, and dark. The environment is perfect for encouraging mold and mildew growth.
Eradicating mold after it has established itself is not easy. Professional services may be necessary, and the situation can turn into a long, frustrating, and expensive process. It is best to avoid the problem altogether by arranging periodic inspections and plumbing services.
Water draining or leaking can damage the slab foundation underneath the home. Plumbing infrastructure eventually wears out and requires maintenance, just like anything else within a home. Parts of plumbing systems are found around or within the foundation. Leaks in this part of the system cause extensive damage because the water is trapped with nowhere to go. It builds up and eventually causes cracks in the foundation.
A damaged foundation causes many small issues that grow into big problems if the damage isn’t addressed. Doors may not fit correctly in doorways. Space opens up around windows that no longer fit correctly. This leads to drafts and possible water damage from rain or snow entering the home. A compromised foundation can ruin a home’s value, or even make it uninhabitable in severe cases. Plumbing services identify leaks and early effects on foundations before damage affects the rest of the home.
Sewage and Potential Illness
Sewer leaks also cause water damage, but that may be the least hazardous consequence. Water inside sewer lines is filled with bacteria. The bacteria are spread all over the home when sewer lines rupture or clogged lines cause back-ups and overflows. Many types of bacteria cause illness, especially for people with weak or compromised immune systems, such as children and the elderly. Inadequate clean-up poses a risk to the home’s occupants. Sewer gas can also cause respiratory problems. Professional plumbing services repair sewer lines and clean flooded areas properly.
Homes in St. Petersburg, FL, require plumbing and electrical systems to support modern life, but mixed with electricity can have dire consequences. Even small leaks can let water enter light fixtures or contact wiring. The most likely outcome is a relatively harmless short, but sometimes this scenario produces a spark and starts a structure fire. Homeowners should always contact professional plumbing services immediately upon noticing water in or around lights and outlets.
A large plumbing leak capable of flooding a basement may release enough water to reach electrical appliances and wall outlets. Water can conduct electrical currents over large distances. People rushing into flooded basements to save items or fix the problem can be electrocuted. Contact professional plumbing services to handle flooded basements or other parts of the home. Professional plumbers understand the potential hazards and take appropriate precautions.
People may not associate new holes in the yard with plumbing problems. Cracked and broken driveways or sidewalks may not prompt thoughts of plumbing either, but plumbing problems are a potential cause. A broken sewer line outside of the home lets water escape constantly into soil. The soil erodes and dissipates over time. The erosion rate depends on the size of the leak and the type of soil around it.
Vegetation above the leak may become very lush and green before holes and indents appear because the sewer line is delivering constant fertilization to that area. This may sound like a good thing, but the benefits are temporary. Asphalt or cement structures above the leak eventually crack because the ground underneath them shifts, resulting in empty pockets and an uneven surface. Professional plumbing services are needed to fix or replace compromised sewer lines.
Home maintenance should always include professional plumbing services. Contact Drain Flo Plumbing to inspect your home’s plumbing system and help you decide if old fixtures and pipes should be replaced. Regular plumbing services identify potential issues early before they become serious problems. Preventative maintenance offers peace of mind and helps homeowners maintain a safe and healthy environment.