Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Your Home

by Broady Windsor Group on Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Plumbing issues should never be ignored. You might think that dripping tap is just an annoyance, but over time it will not only waste a lot of water, it can also become a health hazard and impact the structural integrity of your home. Likewise, a slow-draining sink can rapidly become a completely blocked sink; and that slightly jammed garburator? Well, that can completely back up your kitchen sink if you don’t take care of it pronto. 

So, plumbing inspection and taking care of repairs should definitely be part of your home maintenance program. But what should you look out for, and when is it time to call a plumber? 

Here are some simple tips for maintaining a healthy plumbing system within your home:

1. Unclog your drains

Inspect all the drains in your home – your baths, showers and sinks. If any of them are slow draining, then you probably have a blockage. While it might be tempting to reach for a chemical to do the job, you should avoid harsh lye-based chemicals such as Drano. Not only are these products highly toxic to the environment, but over time they can actually cause more damage to your pipework, corroding metalwork and dissolving glue. 
You can actually create your own blockage clearer using items you already have in your home – baking soda, borax, vinegar and hot water. Failing that, you can use a plunger to try to remove the blockage. Here are some other handy 
sink unblocking tips, courtesy of HGTV. If you’ve tried everything though, and failed, it’s time to call in the professionals.

2. Fix those leaky taps

We all learn to live with nuisance issues in our home. Dripping taps are among the most common annoyances we put to one side, as they don’t seem to be causing damage. 
However, over time not only does this waste a lot of water, but the build-up of damp can cause 
mould. This invisible enemy can irritate the lungs, eyes and skin. If left unchecked, the spores will also eat organic structures such as wood, wallpaper and textiles, leading to property damage. So regularly check your taps. If any are leaking, it’s usually a simple fix and just entails replacing the washer. 

3. Repair running toilets

That sound of your toilet constantly filling is actually the sound of water wastage, and can use up to 200 gallons of water a day! However, running toilets won’t necessarily be noisy, and you may only notice that the toilet sometimes refills when no one has flushed. 
To perform a plumbing check, lift the lid off the back of the toilet. Check the water is filling to the point that the float closes the fill valve. Also, check that water isn’t dripping into the bowl; this usually leaves staining, so it’s easy to see. If your toilet is running and you can’t see an obvious cause, parts may need to be replaced, so once again it’s time to call in a professional. 

4. Check your garburator

These wonderful gadgets are great for taking care of food waste, but many people will overload the system, creating an issue with kitchen sink drainage. 
As these blockages will develop over time, it’s vital to prevent build ups. Not only can these completely block your kitchen sink, but they can also create unseemly odours. Given the nature of these units, we don’t advocate taking on serious repairs yourself. But by cleaning the unit every couple of weeks, you can help prevent blockages and stop nasty smells from developing. 
Once again, avoid toxic chemicals and instead opt for eco-friendly products such as a mix of vinegar and baking soda. Another great tip is to regularly grind lemon or orange peel; the oils will not only remove build up but they’ll also leave behind a wonderful citrus fragrance.

5. Maintain your sump pump

During the spring thaw or heavy downpours, this small but mighty hero stands between you and a basement flood. When it’s working properly you won’t know it’s there, but if it stops working when it’s needed, you’ll soon notice it’s absence. So take care of your sump pump by having it inspected annually. Otherwise, you may not know it’s broken until it’s too late. 

6. Inspect external drains

Regularly check your external drains and clear them of leaves and debris. If you can, pull up the grate to give the pipework a proper clean. Also, check for signs of tree root invasion. If you’ve noticed water backup in the house and suspect a serious blocked drain, it can be really difficult to pinpoint so it’s definitely time to call in the professionals.

We hope these tips help you with the maintenance of your property. By regularly inspecting the plumbing system within and around your home, you can help circumvent costly and distressing water damage. Of course, you can only tackle certain issues, and will sometimes need to contact an expert. If you need help finding a plumber, then check out our Homeowners Advisory Club. This proprietary service not only gives ongoing advice and support, but it also provides access to a directory of local professionals, so we can definitely steer you to the help you need. 

Being experienced brokers here in Montreal’s West Island, we’re not only well connected with local experts, but we also understand the local real estate market as well as the checks and inspections that are required when buying or selling a home. By being informed, you can make the necessary remediations to help prevent a plumbing issue, and avert disaster. Remember, our unique climate and the fact we’re surrounded by beautiful waterfront might give us stunning winterscapes and sublime summers, but they also make some of our homes susceptible to water infiltration. Ensuring a property is sound from a plumbing standpoint is therefore an extremely important factor for house hunters. 

So if you’re looking for a realtor, go with brokers you can trust, ones who see the bigger picture and who can honestly guide you to the safest investment for you and your family. Get in touch today on 514-612-8041 or by emailing