Why Spring Can Lead to Plumbing Issues

Water Line Repair Sacramento CA

Spring brings so much new life with it. Flowers are blooming, baby animals are emerging into the world, plants are growing and thriving—and plumbing issues are popping up like tulips. We know that the last item probably isn’t something you often associate with springtime, but the fact is that springtime can lead to significant plumbing issues for many homeowners. So, what is it about the spring season that leads to plumbing services for Sacramento homeowners? Here are just a few of the potential causes.

Shifting Soil

April showers bring May flowers—and excessive soil saturation. Despite the fact that it doesn’t rhyme, it’s still true. Those lovely spring showers can often oversaturate the soil around your home. When this happens, the soil can shift and sink, causing your foundation slab to settle. A few key pipes run beneath your slab, including your water main line, so when the foundation settles even just a small amount, it can cause extreme strain on the pipes below. That can result in cracks, leaks, and even burst water lines.

Root Infiltration

Spring is a time of growth, and while most of the plants blooming and growing throughout your yard aren’t a problem for your plumbing, trees can be sneaky little pipe destroyers. As your trees wake up from their dormant period, they’ll be on the hunt for sources of water and nutrients. Their roots spread out beneath the ground, and when they find the moisture or nutrition they’re searching for, the root growth in that area increases.

Tree roots are especially attracted to sewer mains, as the sewage and water inside these pipes are an excellent blend of nutrients for growing plants. While that’s great for the tree, it’s not great for your plumbing if that source of water and nutrients is an underground pipe. Though the roots start as very fine, hair-like strands, allowing them to sneak in through tiny gaps in pipe joints easily, they grow quickly. They’ll grow thicker and stronger as more and more roots sneak inside the pipe. Eventually, the pressure of the roots in and around the pipe can cause it to crack or burst, or in some cases, the tangle of roots will create a major clog. Either way, you’re left with a big plumbing bill to cover your tree’s hearty appetite.

Changing Temperature

Springtime can be a bit finicky when it comes to the temperature. Oftentimes, we’ll experience big swings between very warm days and very cold nights as the last of the winter weather is pushed out and we move towards summer. These big swings are annoying for you and potentially harmful to your plumbing. Even though you likely won’t have to worry about it getting cold enough to freeze your pipes, those temperature changes can cause the pipes (and the soil around them, if they’re underground) to expand and contract with the heat and the cold.

Despite the fact that you wouldn’t notice this movement yourself, repetitive expanding and contracting is not good for your pipes. It can create weak spots in the pipes’ walls, which will make them more likely to crack and leak.

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Excessive Mud

Remember the excessive soil saturation we mentioned earlier? Well, it can impact your plumbing in another way besides causing the soil to shift. If your family isn’t afraid to get outside and get a little dirty, you might find yourself washing a fair amount of mud off of boots, bodies, toys, and pets. While a little mud won’t have much impact, a lot of mud going down your drains can end up clogging your pipes.

This type of clog is most common in outdoor drains, so if you have this type of drain on your property, be mindful of how much mud you’re washing down it. For example, if you’re washing down a very muddy truck, you might try to spray some of the mud into the storm drain on the street instead of down your own drain. You should also avoid washing anything that’s extremely muddy in your sinks or bathtubs. These drains weren’t made to handle excessive amounts of mud. Instead, hose down muddy kids, clothes, and animals outside before giving them a proper washing inside. You’ll keep the mud out of your drains and off your floors.

We love spring as much as the next person, but it’s still important to be aware of how each season can impact your home’s plumbing. Being aware of potential issues can help you catch them sooner to prevent excessive damage to your property. If you do notice signs of a clogged drain or damaged pipe, contact Bullseye Leak Detection for water line repair in Sacramento, CA.