These days, it's not uncommon for newer homes to have utility rooms on the second floor. For convenience, these spaces often contain the home's washer and dryer, as well as other plumbing components, such as a water heater and water softener. Unfortunately, having these major plumbing components can also mean more extensive damage and headaches if and when a leak or malfunction occurs. If your home has second-floor laundry and other plumbing appliances, there are some important things you should know about water leaks.
Be on the Lookout for Ceiling Stains
Often times, the first sign of a water leak from an upstairs utility room will be water stains on the ceiling of your main floor. If you notice any discoloration on the ceiling directly below your utility room, there is most likely a leak in your washing machine or your water heater. Depending on the severity of the leak, water may even begin to drip down from the ceiling.
Know Where Your Shut-Off Valves Are
Any time you encounter a water leak, it's important to shut off water to the affected appliance or plumbing component right away. Know where your home's water shut-off valves are and how to use them. Most likely, your shut-off valves to your washing machine and water heater will be located in your utility room (and hopefully, they're labeled). Shutting off water as soon as a leak is detected will help to protect your home from more extensive damage until a plumbing contractor can come out and make the necessary repair.
Perform Regular Plumbing Inspections
One of the best ways to avoid catastrophic second-floor water leaks is to have your home's plumbing components inspected annually for signs of damage. Any reputable local plumbing contractor should offer annual home inspections for a reasonable price; these inspections can alert you to small issues that can be easily repaired before they turn into major problems.
Drain Your Water Heater Annually
When a water heater leaks in a second-floor utility room, the damage can be tremendous--especially when you consider that most water heaters hold between 40 and 50 gallons of water at any given time. Having your water heater drained annually is the best way to prevent sediment and other build-up, which can otherwise lead to corrosion and leaking.
Water leaks are always bad news, but they're especially bad when they happen on the second floor of your home as opposed to a basement. Keep these tips in mind to prevent and handle water leaks while minimizing damage. For more help, contact companies like In & Out Plumbing & Construction.