Is your toilet running?
Quick, hurry up and catch it!
Bad dad jokes aside, a running toilet or a drippy faucet can be more than groan inducing. Even minor plumbing issues can inflate your water bill and potentially damage your cabinetry and belongings.
Whether you bought a fixer-upper or a shiny new-construction home, eventually, you’ll experience some issues in your home’s plumbing. In many cases, you should be able to fix these small problems without the help of a professional. But your expenses could be directly correlated to how prepared you are for problems in the first place.
Here are four important things every new homeowner should know about plumbing:
1. Some Plumbing Problems are Covered in Your Home Warranty.
Many first-time home buyers benefit from acquiring a home warranty with their home purchase. These warranties protect you, the homeowner, from covered breakdowns, which can include your interior plumbing systems. The warranty will help reduce the cost to repair or replace systems or fixtures when issues arise, especially those no longer covered by manufacturer warranties or not included in your homeowners insurance. Home warranties typically last one year, but can be renewed for additional time. And sometimes, sellers will purchase them for you as part of their closing costs.
2. Water Damage and Flooding are Different.
Sure, you intuitively know the difference between a leaky pipe and hurricane damage. But in terms of insurance coverage, this is an important and very specific distinction. Damage caused by water or steam from home plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, or automatic fire extinguishing systems is often covered by basic homeowners policies. Flood insurance specifically covers the loss of property from a flood event. In between are issues with sudden and accidental water backup, such as from an outside sewer or drain. When calling for quotes for your homeowners insurance, make sure water backup is covered in your policy.
3. Winterizing Your Plumbing Could Prevent Problems AND Lower Costs.
We’re heading into the mountains’ cold season! If you’re in a new home this winter, make sure it’s properly winterized before the first frost hits. In addition to making your home warm and cozy, winterizing your home can help prevent cold-related plumbing issues and help you save money on your energy bills.
Firstly, make sure you know how to turn off water at its source so that you can stop leaks immediately if they start. To winterize your plumbing, take care of any known issues with pipes that freeze. Apply heat tape to keep them warm during extremely cold weather. And drain water from outdoor faucets. Remove garden hoses from the faucets, and use caulking and weather stripping to protect them from freezing.
4. You Should Fix Aging Plumbing Proactively.
Other than wiring, replacing a home’s plumbing may be the most complicated project to undertake over the course of your mortgage. But the good news is, it’s not the most expensive—that is, unless you wait for a pipe to burst, flood your basement, and ruin your foundation. Deal with aging plumbing and plumbing-related fixtures proactively, and replace fixtures like faucets one at a time. Repiping an existing home with PEX tubing will cost thousands of dollars. So if you’re completing renovation projects, such as remodeling your bathroom, consider tackling the plumbing while it’s exposed and accessible. Your future self will thank you.
Ready to Call in the Professionals?
Thanks to YouTube, it’s easy to get step-by-step tutorials from plumbing professionals for minor home repairs, like replacing a toilet stopper or changing your kitchen faucet. But when it comes to bigger projects, it never hurts to call the professionals.
Your Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks agent has relationships with many of the area’s top service professionals, including plumbing professionals. Reach out to your agent today for recommendations!