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Are Small Leaks an Emergency?

leak-in-p-trap-pipeWe wish we could just say “There is no such thing as a small leak in plumbing” to answer this question and end it there. Well, end it there along with the recommendation that you call us as soon as possible. Whatever the size of the leak you’ve got in your home’s pipes, if you know you have one you need a Plattsburgh, NY plumber with training and licensed to get out to you, pronto.

And if that recommendation already has you reaching for the phone to call us, then consider the following information bonus details. You’ve already taken the right step. But while you’re waiting for us to arrive, or if you’re reading this post for information or advice about future plumbing issues, we’re going to look a bit closer at the dilemma of the “small” leak.

Leak Size May Affect Urgency, But Not Importance

If you see a leak in your house that’s large enough for you to, well, see it, then you’ve definitely got a plumbing emergency on your hands. Shut off the water main to your house (make sure to familiarize yourself with the location of the shut-off valve for just such as situation) and summon the expert plumbers.

But what about leaks that don’t appear too bad? This is what people would call a “small” leak: a drip from a drainpipe under a sink, signs of water staining on walls or ceiling. If you can put a bucket underneath the leak for the time being, or simply shrug off the spots of discoloration, it may not feel like it’s something that needs to be dealt with urgently. Even though you may not feel like scrambling to get a plumber on the phone, this is still a problem that you should deal with as early as possible.

One reason that these leaks still count as plumbing emergencies is that they’re often only warnings or worse problems in the plumbing. It’s a good rule of thumb to assume that if you see one leak, there are probably other ones hidden from sight. Leaks like this can occur because of a rise in water pressure throughout the plumbing, the development of corrosion, or a buildup of limescale in the pipes. All of these will continue to create leak issues until they’re dealt with. Fixing the leak is only one step plumbers will take if they discover there are underlying troubles. You may even be due for extensive repiping for your home if its plumbing is old enough, such as in a home built before 1970.

Another trouble that these smaller leaks create is construction material damage. A few drips escaping from a pipe behind a wall or up in the ceiling will lead to the development of mold and mildew. These growths will eat straight through drywall and cause rot in wood. Ignoring the signs may mean having to pay later for water damage remediation and construction material replacement. Ceiling water stains are especially worrisome, since they often come from bathroom plumbing and you don’t want the flooring under your shower and toilet to weaken!

Fix that leak, no matter the size: call Red Rock Mechanical, LLC. Service throughout Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York.

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