When you think of reducing sewer and pipe repair costs, you might be thinking mostly along the lines of getting multiple quotes or negotiating. Those are good strategies to be sure, but — given that a home is a lifetime investment — it’s best to think a bit bigger. How can you reduce your lifetime spending on sewer repairs and pipe repairs? Here are five important strategies to keep in mind:
- Watch the Food Waste
Kitchen scraps can cause more problems for your pipes than you might expect. Grease, in particular, can gum up the works when it cools and solidifies. If you don’t have a garbage disposal, your best choice is to get a screen for your kitchen drains so you can catch all food particles and dispose of them in a garbage can (and even a garbage disposal won’t take care of grease, which should always be put into a container to cool and then trashed).
- Think Before You Flush
Ignore the “flushable” label that’s popping up on more and more consumer products, and flush only toilet paper and waste. Feminine hygiene products, wipes, and similar products can easily clog up sewer systems — especially older ones.
- Don’t Unclog With Chemicals
When you have a slow or clogged drain, don’t turn to a chemical drain cleaner. These chemicals can actually damage your pipes in the long run, and often don’t solve problems as thoroughly as a real drain cleaning will. Plus, if you forgo a real drain inspection by a plumber, you could miss the subtle early signs of a greater plumbing problem that needs to be nipped in the bud.
- Plant Trees With Care
Tree roots are strong enough to break into buried drainage lines in your yard, and this can especially become a problem as trees dig down deep into the soil in the fall and winter. If you have a choice about where to plant new trees, keep them well away from buried lines. And if you have existing trees, know that tree roots will likely become a problem and plan ahead so the cost doesn’t sneak up on you.
- Choose the Right Repairs
When you do end up needing a repair, you can keep sewer and pipe repair costs reasonable by investing in the right repair methods. Nowadays, your best option is trenchless pipe repair. Essentially, this grouping of techniques allows a plumbing contractor to repair or completely replace your existing lines without digging them up. The process is shorter (keeping labor costs down) and doesn’t disturb expensive landscaping and/or paving.
Do you have any tips for reducing sewer and pipe repair costs? Join the discussion in the comments.