The danger from some plumbing issues is obvious to anyone. A frozen pipe that bursts can quickly flood your home with water, leaving you with a huge mess and the potential for severe water damage. Likewise, a toilet that overflows into your bathroom can create a biological hazard that may leave you with expensive clean-up bills after resolving the issue.
However, some more subtle issues can still result in a surprising amount of damage to your home. Water is a persistent and consistent threat, so any situation that allows water into your home can lead to costly damage. If you think you need a big plumbing problem to create a big headache, check out these three relatively minor issues that can seriously affect your home.
1. Wax Ring Toilet Failures
Many homeowners may not even realize that their toilet uses a wax ring (or wax seal). Without a seal, water could leak from the base of your toilet every time you pull the flush handle. The wax seal conforms to the shape of the joint between the toilet and the flange, creating a watertight connection that keeps your toilet from destroying your floor.
Unfortunately, wax rings can wear out, especially on relatively old toilets. A faulty ring can create a leak that's extremely hard to detect, often only resulting in some moisture around the base. However, the leak can warp or damage subflooring, potentially ruining the entire floor around your toilet. If you spot any water or moisture around your toilet's base, you may want to contact a plumber right away.
2. Dripping Under Sinks
Sink faucets can fail for numerous reasons. Some failures are little more than annoyances, creating small leaks from the faucet spot. While these drips can increase water usage and cost you money, they probably won't cause much damage to your home. On the other hand, some failures can cause drips in the cabinet under your sink.
These leaks are often relatively minor; sometimes, they may be so small that the water mostly evaporators before creating a puddle. However, the increased moisture can have serious consequences. Leaving these leaks unaddressed can warp the wood in your cabinets or create the perfect mold environment.
3. Aging Sump Pumps
How often do you think about your basement's sump pump? This device keeps your basement dry and helps to create mold, but it may only last about ten years. If you live in an area where basement flooding only occurs rarely, your sump pump may not get much time to stretch its legs. In these cases, routinely testing your pump is often a good idea to ensure it remains in good working order.
If you don't stay on top of testing your pump, it may fail when needed. Regular sump pump testing can often mean the difference between a dry basement and several inches of water on your floor. If you're unsure of your sump pump's condition or know it is well past its prime, consider hiring a plumber to test and, if necessary, replace it.
For more info, contact a local plumber.