Elmhurst Plumbing

Plumbing in Elmhurst Illinois

Fall Drain Cleaning Maintenance

Fall and winter home maintenance is essential, and often overlooked, to keeping your home safe, warm and dry. While these tasks can be performed by homeowners some of them are hazardous and caution must taken. We recommend you hire professional help if you have any doubts at all about performing the tasks yourself.

Check your gutters in the fall, before the winter season. This involves a ladder and two people. The one person can inspect the gutters and clean them out as required. They also need to check that the downspouts are clear. As important is a second person to hold the ladder steady. Again, this job is not for all homeowners and great caution needs to be taken.

If you don’t clear out your gutters, debris will accumulate over time and it can lead to expensive problems. If you live in a cold area of the country ice dams can form, which can damage the shingles on your roof, leading to water damage and water stains.

Another potential problem is that since water is not being diverted away, you can burn out your sump pump. Excess water means the sump pump will cycle on and off more, and hasten it to wear out. Then of course your basement can flood causing untold damage.

All this because the gutter were clogged and no maintenance was done to unclog them. Unfortunately homeowners can be notorious for putting off basic maintenance.

Now it can also be the case that your gutters need to be replaced. There are some excellent gutter systems on the market that have screened coverings which help dramatically to keep the gutters unclogged. Still you need to visually inspect them and keep the screens themselves clean.

If you need new gutters, we always suggest you get three bids. Check with any neighbors that have had this type of work done and see who they used and their experience with the company. Make sure you check references and be careful of the low bid. A dramatically lower bid likely means less expertise and workmanship. It is an old cliché but we do get what we pay for.

Another annual maintenance event should be checking your sump pump and the back up battery system. You need to do this before winter, of course. You do not want to find out, during the first big storm, that your sump pump is out.

To check your sump pump, take a hose and fill the sump pump pit until the pump cycles and empties the pit. If it does not come on then you have identified a problem. If you have a back up battery system, you may need to add water to it. Typically there are lights on these backup systems that will indicate if there is a problem. Check with the owner’s manual if you have any questions.

Home maintenance is not for everyone, so call the Scottish Plumber for any help you need with the maintenance discussed. We are also happy to answer any questions or concerns you have.