An earthquake will shake more than your nerves. Even small earthquakes can shake your home and its many components, which could result in major damage. You may not even know that there’s a problem until the damage has become quite extensive. The reason is that your pipes are often hidden under your home’s foundation, in the crawlspace, or in the walls. You won’t notice that the plumbing has been damaged until you see the signs of water damage around the area.
Knowing some of the signs of plumbing damage after an earthquake can help you get repairs done more quickly and protect your home. Here are some of the common signs that your plumbing has been damaged after an earthquake:
Damp Spots on Walls
If your plumbing runs through your walls or through your attic, you are likely to notice damp spots on the walls if it has been damaged. Even a small leak can lead to accumulation that can create a large wet mark, which can appear yellow or light brown. After an earthquake, you should be on the lookout for any spots. Call a plumber right away if you notice them, even if they are small. By taking action quickly, you may be able to fix the plumbing before it causes major damage.
Damp Spots along Sewer Line
Your sewer line is also vulnerable to damage in an earthquake, and that damage can be even harder to spot since the system is underground. One easy way to know that the sewer system is damaged is to look for damp spots in your yard near where the sewer line is located. Also, be on alert for foul smells. There may be damage but there may not yet be puddles.
Puddles Anywhere around the House
Of course, if you see a huge puddle in the middle of your floor, you are going to know that there’s a problem with your plumbing. But water leaks can appear anywhere in and around your house, including outside. After an earthquake, take a walk around your house, including in the yard around your foundation. Check the crawlspace, as well. Look for signs of sudden growth, as well, which could indicate water leaks but be covering up what would be a puddle.
Feel like you hear a drip but can’t find a dripping faucet? The sound may not be in your head. You could have a drip in the plumbing hiding behind your walls, in your ceiling, or under your floors. You just may not see the signs of a leak yet. If you hear a drip, don’t dismiss it. Call a plumber to inspect the situation if you aren’t able to identify the source of the drip yourself.
Changing Water Pressure
Did you always have good water pressure in your shower and now you feel like you have a light trickle? It may be that your plumbing was damaged in the earthquake. Pay attention to any changes in your water pressure following an earthquake. The changes could be a result of plumbing damage, or they could have another cause. It’s important that you know for certain.
Spikes in Water Charges
A sudden increase in your water bill is a good sign that you may have an undetected leak. Check over your payment history to see what has been typical, and compare that to your bills following the earthquake. If there is a slow increase or a sudden spike, call a plumber to find out what’s happening.
Not all earthquakes will shake your house to the ground (thankfully!). Smaller earthquakes may appear to do little more than shake a few pictures off the walls, but they may actually do much more damage that can go undetected. This is particularly true for your plumbing, which can loosen or burst and create extensive water damage in your home. Keep watch for these signs after an earthquake to spot the signs of plumbing damage early so you can protect your home.
If you experience extensive damage, Integrity Repipe can help by re-piping your home. Even if you don’t experience extensive damage, you may discover that your current plumbing system is not ideal for withstanding earthquakes. Your home may benefit from a material like PEX that will be more flexible and will not be as vulnerable to loose connections, corrosion, or breakage. Call us today to talk with one of our re-pipe specialists about how to safeguard your home against earthquakes or how best to repair your plumbing damage.
Published by – Integrity Repipe Inc
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