If You’re Protecting Your Home From Burglary and Fire, Why Aren’t You Protecting It From Water Too?

Internal water damage to homes has risen by 72% in property-related home insurance claims over the past 5 years.

As a homeowner, internal flooding is the last thing you’d expect to claim on. Often more focus is put towards protecting your home from other events like theft or fire.

Security to your property is, no doubt, important for you and your family.  It’s not unusual to be proactive in protecting your home from thieves by installing locks, security screens, alarm and security systems.

You’re also probably diligent in checking your smoke alarms on the 1st day of April each year. It’s the day the nation changes the batteries to their smoke alarms to ensure it works in an emergency. (It can also turn on depending on who’s cooking!)  

But how vigilant are you protecting your home from internal water damage? How often do you inspect the water pipes in your home?

If you have concealed the water pipes for your appliances behind cabinetry, you probably never check the pipes for leaks or fraying, and yet this could be the unexpected insurance claim you make before theft or fire.

Internal water damage to your property is costly and inconvenient. Soaked carpets, warped cabinetry, soggy plasterboard and even damage to any electrical appliances you own… the cost to your claim can add up. And while it is currently claimable on insurance, it will still incur an unexpected excess fee and a possible increase in premium the following year. Let alone the time to meet tradespeople on site to get the damage replaced.

So how can you protect your home from internal water damage?

  1. Check your flexi hoses. And check them again. Every time you get your water bill, make this a reminder to check the flexi hoses around your property. Older style rubber flexi hoses should be changed every 5 years.
  2. Ensure stop taps are installed on all water feeds to isolate water at the appliance/fixture.
  3. Organise a plumbing inspection and replacement of old flexi hoses. This is a callout we are happy to do and encourage you to do so if you’re not sure on the age of your flexi hoses.
  4. Ensure your washing machine, dishwasher and water dispensing appliances (like a fridge or Zip Hydrotap) have flood stop valves so the water is shut off if the hose bursts.
  5. Have floor wastes in your bathroom if you’re building or renovating a bathroom.
  6. Install your hot water unit outside, not internally.
  7. When you notice a leak, get it fixed as soon as you can.

If you’re proactive with these steps, your house is better protected against internal water damage. 

What Causes a Leaking Roof?

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A leaking roof often becomes noticeable when the ceiling has a notable watermark in the plasterboard. Or the cornice is warped due to the moisture.

Heavy rain, hail, storms and wet weather events like cyclones can put your roof to the test.

It can be difficult to identify where the leak is coming from and often requires a bit of investigation work by an experienced roof plumber.

There are a number of causes for a leaking roof. But here are some common ones and solutions for each.

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Common causes for a leaking roof:

Blocked gutters

Gutters full of leaf matter and debris can not only block your downpipes, it can force the water to overflow back into the roof through the eaves. This type of water damage can be avoided through regular maintenance, and ensuring adequate storm water drainage is in place to remove rainwater away from the roof.

Blocked down pipes or storm water pipes

If the gutters are clear, but the down pipes or storm water pipes are blocked, the water will backflow through the gutters and overflow into the roof space. Always ensure down pipes and storm water pipes are free flowing. You can use a garden hose to test them to see if water comes back up through to the gutters.

Broken or missing tiles

Often hail or a falling tree branch can break roof tiles. Gail force winds can whip old tiles, which can allow water through the roof. If you have a tiled roof and suspect a leak, you will need a specialised roof plumber who has experience with tiled roofs.

Rusted ridge capping

Ridge capping is where the roof edges meet at an angle. If the ridge capping is rusted out, it will let water into your roof cavity. There is no quick fix for this as it will need to be replaced.

Rusted or blocked gulley

Roof valleys are the ‘V’ shaped metal channels that running through the folds of the roof. Valleys will catch leaf debris and much like gutters, if this debris is not removed, rainwater will find its way into your ceiling.

Rusted roof

This is a given that a rusted roof will allow water through rusty holes. The only solution is to get the roof replaced.

Faulty flashings

Flashings will be used around the edges of the roof or around penetrations like vents and skylights. If the flashing hasn’t been well made or moulded around the penetration, water will find its way into your roof.

Incorrectly installed roof sheets or roof flashings

Incorrectly installed roof sheets and roof flashings can result in roof leaks. Although you may not be aware of a leak until a big storm, persistent rain or strong winds and rain from a certain direction allow water into the roof, causing water damage to the ceiling.  In this case, replacement of the roof and flashings will be needed and silicone is only a temporary fix.

Salmon Plumbing has experience with metal roofs, including Colourbond. If you have leaking metal roof which needs inspecting and replacing, give the team a call on 3862 2600.

Budget Plumbing Tips To Update An Old Bathroom

White modern bathroom

If you’ve purchased an older house and the bathroom is in need of an update, you may assume calling a plumber will cost you a bit to renovate. But simple, cosmetic updates can be affordable. Your plumber will usually be able to install them during one call out and will install them in a fraction of the time you could.

Now not everyone can afford to renovate their bathroom after the initial outlay to purchase the property. But there are some ways to make the bathroom look aesthetically pleasing until you do have the finances available to do a complete overhaul. 

Here are some budget plumbing tips which can update an old bathroom for minimal cost.

Replace Toilet Seat

White toilet

It can be the luck of the draw on what type of toilet you have installed in your bathroom. You may have a dual flush toilet suite or you could have a toilet with the cistern high up the wall that has seen better days, connecting to a white toilet pan with an old dingy black plastic toilet seat. You could get your plumber to replace the whole toilet suite. But if this is out of your budget, simply replace the toilet seat. You’d be surprised how refreshed the toilet will look with this simple install.

Replace Taps With Like For Like

Replacing the tapware with like for like can also update your bathroom. There can be an outlay of cost in purchasing the new tapware, but providing you replace a mixer with an existing mixer or hob mounted with the like, you can instantly update the bathroom. Why not replace the chrome taps with matte black? It’s usually dearer than chrome, but not as expensive as the brushed metallic tapware available. But it can instantly modernize the bathroom if that is the look you’re after.

Replace The Plug and Waste

You may not be a fan of the basin or the vanity cupboard for that matter, but if replacing these won’t fit in with your budget, get your plumber to replace the plug and waste. Often a basin will show its age by the grime in the silicone sealing the basin waste. Your plumber will be able to find the correct plug and waste needed and re-silicone this in for you. Leave this job with your plumber to source as the plug and waste diameters can vary from 32mm to 40mm and some require an overflow.

Add a Hand Shower

If your shower has an all directional shower rose, this can be replaced with a hand shower. A plumber does not necessarily have to install this, however, you have to be mindful of where your cold and hot water pipes are when drilling into the tiled wall to affix the shower rail. Your plumber’s expertise will ensure the rail is installed where it needs to be and even if they get it wrong, they’re the best person to fix the leak.

A good clean, a fresh lick of paint and even some new accessories in the like of a plant or new window furnishing may be all that’s needed so your bathroom looks less drab and more fab.

Salmon Plumbing can do all these budget plumbing tips in one call out, saving you money and time trying to do it yourself. Call the team now so we can organise a call out to help.

Making the Most from Your Plumber’s Call Out Fee

We understand: calling a plumber can be an expensive exercise, and no one wants to spend more money than they have to. But a timely appointment with a plumber can not only fix your immediate problem, but it can also save you thousands of dollars in the future. That’s because the plumber is already at your home or business, so by planning ahead you can get them to look at other things that might not be causing concern now, but may need some minor maintenance to help prevent major problems in the future.

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It’s a little like going to the doctor for a bad cold, but also asking a few questions about your diet or back pain: you’re already there, so why not make the most of it and get value for your money! Getting the most out of your plumber’s call out fee is pretty much the same concept, at the very least you will have peace of mind that things are all under control

Here are some things to make sure you get checked out next time you have your plumber on site.

Water Leaks and Tap Washers

Changing washers is a pretty simple business with most tapware, but if there’s a professional in the house, it’s worth getting them to have a look at what might need replacing and getting it done. Not only will it be faster, but you’ll likely also be able to get a quote to repair any slightly more expensive parts like ceramic discs inside the tapware.

Gutter and  Downpipes

Gutters and downpipes can back up with debris, and then all it takes is a heavier than normal rain event for water to end up in all sorts of places you don’t want. While your plumber is there, ask them to do a visual inspection of the property to check the gutters and downpipes. They’ll know the places that are likely to be “choke points” for problems, and are also experienced at spotting where signs of damage have already occurred.

Hot Water System

The hot water system is one of the most heavily used and most important parts of many household plumbing systems, so it pays to have it checked regularly. An experienced eye checking over the system can spot plenty of problems like hidden rust, and your plumber can also do a quick test to make sure the system is heating water to the required temperatures.

Water that is not heated to the correct temperature in the tank can quickly become an attractive place for bacteria to grow, and a Legionella problem is the last thing you want in your hot water system.

Your plumber can also double check the operation of all valves and ensure there is no unexpected surprises waiting for you in the immediate future.  Some minor maintenance can also help extend the life of your Hot Water Service.

Water Tanks

Droughts over the last few decades in all parts of Australia have meant that water tanks have become as common in Australian backyards as BBQs. But these are often out of sight and out of mind. Having your plumber inspect the mesh at the opening of the tank as well as the pump connections is always a good idea to make sure that wildlife isn’t getting in. Stopping water pooling from leaks or mosquitoes from getting into your tank is also the best way to continue enjoying your outdoor area by denying the mozzies a space to breed.

Flexible Hoses

The flexible hoses around all manner of plumbing equipment are made of a large number of metal threads which means that with age they might fray, rust, or leak. Getting these checked and replaced can go a long way towards preventing any future flooding emergencies!

Like most things nowadays, there are also some cheaper, imported, flexible hoses available on the market today – your plumber can identify these and replace with high quality alternatives that also come with a manufacturers warranty for piece of mind.

So, take the chance to make the most of your plumber’s call out fee next time you have them visit your premises.  Have them check over one or more of the areas we’ve mentioned in this article. A friendly, professional plumber like the ones at Salmon Plumbing will be happy to take a look for you and advise what needs to be done to keep your home or office in top shape.