Suppose you’re doing some chores around the house, minding your own business, when you discover a wet spot on the floor near the toilet. Or maybe it’s a drip underneath the sink, or a damp area inside a wall. It’s obviously a problem with your plumbing, but since it’s not spraying water everywhere or flooding anybody out, you may be tempted to look the other way. I don’t want to spend the money now,you reason. I’ll look at it later.
Not a good idea.
What really happens when you don’t fix broken plumbing? Let’s look at a few possible outcomes.
Damage and Rot
That leak may appear small where you see it, but chances are it’s leaking more in places you can’t see. That standing water can seep into your foundation and cause cracks; it can cause your wood beams to rot; and it can cause your pipes to rust and deteriorate, making the source of the leak even bigger. Bottom line: You could be paying a lot more for repairs when you finally get around to addressing the problem.
Mold and Foul Odors
Standing water from a leak becomes a breeding ground for bacteria which may give off an unpleasant smell. Even worse, that moisture can become a breeding ground for dangerous mold that affects the air you breathe and can make you sick. Treating a home for mold is an expensive endeavor—not to mention any medical bills you might incur from breathing the toxic air.
Rats, Mice and Mosquitoes
Rodents love dark, damp areas. So do mosquitoes. Not only are these pests difficult to exterminate, they are also carriers of disease. Let that leak go for too long, and you may be paying a price in exterminator bills and poor health.
Additional Plumbing Problems
Like any other system with multiple working parts, if you let one part fail, before long the failure can cascade to other parts of the system, as well. Leaks tend to breed more leaks. Damaged sewer lines can cause extensive backups. The longer you let the leak go on, the more parts of your plumbing system you may have to replace.
Hopefully you’re seeing a common thread with all these issues: They all add up to more money in the long run. You may not feel like going to the trouble and expense of fixing that broken plumbing right now, but considering the alternatives, it’s likely still the least expensive option.