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Five Signs You Have Damaged Plumbing

If your plumbing is damaged, you’ll run into quite a few problems. While some are obvious, others might cause hidden issues, something which tends to be much more costly. Below you’ll discover a few signs that you have broken pipes and how you prevent them.

5 Indicators Your Plumbing is Damaged

You Have a High Water Bill: One of the most common signs that you have a damaged water line is that your water bill has suddenly skyrocketed. Most of the time, this shows that there is a leak somewhere in the pipe that’s allowing water to constantly drip out of it. This could be due to a small puncture or a loose valve.

The Pipes Make Loud Noises When Running: If you hear strange noises when running faucets or hear random clanking sounds in the walls, it could be that your plumbing is damaged. The loud noises you hear are due to high water pressure. Because the water is unable to move or escape, it will try to release air pressure, something which causes these weird sounds.

You Smell Unpleasant Odors: Sometimes a damaged water pipe could result in your water having a repulsive odor. If the drain is clogged or old, it could harbor bacteria that make the water have a musty smell.

There is Poor Water Pressure: Poor water pressure is yet another indication of damaged pipes. If the pipes have holes in them, it will make it harder for the water to pass through. This could result in low water pressure when you turn on a faucet or shower.

You Notice Wet Spots on the Wall, Floor, or Ceiling: Wet spots on your wall, floor, or ceiling are a concerning sign of a plumbing issue because they indicate a leak. If not fixed, these wet spots will allow dangerous mold growth. They could also cause structural damage because they will loosen drywall and warp wooden beams.

How Can I Keep My Pipes Healthy?

There are plenty of ways you can ensure your home’s pipes stay in good condition. Some ways you can do so include:

  • Doing periodic inspections for leaks
  • Having regular maintenance done
  • Avoiding putting grease and oil down drains
  • Checking the water pressure

Damaged plumbing can cause severe problems if not fixed immediately. If you’re concerned your Sonoma County home’s pipes might be leaking, contact RCS. We’ll send a team out to inspect the area and quickly fix any issues.

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6 Tips To Prevent Clogged Pipes

Did you know, most insurance claims that are related to water damage are due to plumbing related failures? Breaks and clogs in piping, plumbing, and appliance issues are far more common than weather-related causes. As such the most common areas for these complaints is the kitchen and bathroom. One cause that we don’t typically consider, is clogged drains. You may be surprised to learn the extent of damage a clogged drain is capable of causing. If a drain clog is not addressed right away, and flooding occurs, the resulting water damage may lead to warped wood in flooring, cabinetry, and walls. Tiles can be popped out and mold can easily develop. In this article, we are discussing 6 tips to help prevent plumbing failure in your home.

Always Use Cold Water With Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are turning blades within your sink, these cause quite a bit of friction on their own, generating heat and causing food particles to seal to the blades. Use of cold water before and during the use of your garbage disposal will ensure all food particles are safely flushed past and through your pipes. It is perfectly acceptable to run hot water after your garbage disposal has been shut off, should you feel it is needed. One key point with using your garbage disposal is to avoid tossing high fiber and stringy foods, such as potato peels, corn on the cob, and celery. These types of foods will make your garbage disposal work harder, and may not flush properly down the drain, leading to plumbing issues.

Practice Grease Disposal

One of the biggest causes of a clogged drain, especially in the kitchen, is grease. If you have a garbage disposal it is encouraged to never pour grease down the drain. Using hot water as you pour grease down a drain only provides a false sense of security as even the hottest water won’t push all grease through your entire piping system before cooling off and allowing the grease to solidify.

One of the best practices is to use aluminum foil while cooking known greasy foods for quick and easy disposal. Another option is to set aside a disposal container such as a coffee can, cup or jar for later disposal in the trash. Finally, if dumping grease down the drain is an absolute must, use cold water. While again it isn’t a safe all and your drains may still become clogged, this will at least prevent the warm grease from cooling off deep down in your piping where it will then solidify. It’s far easier to push a solid substance down your pipe than it is a hot liquid.

Avoid Use Of Oily Body Care Products

It’s natural to want to use the best products while in the shower or while washing your face. However, much like cooking grease you’re going to want to avoid using products that are oil-based or feel greasy to the touch, as these are likely to have poor results when going down your shower and sink drains.

Use Natural Clog Removal Products

If you do find yourself with a clog, avoid the harsh chemicals. Over time, use of chemical products can cause corrosion to your piping. Try using a baking soda and vinegar combination first for a more natural declogging solution.

Avoid Disposing “Flushable” Products

We all know that disposal of feminine hygiene products down the toilet is a big no-no as it’s the fastest way to a clogged drain. Unfortunately, the same rings true for many wipes and other items that are labeled as “flushable.” The deterioration time just isn’t the same rate of toilet papers and may cause clogging down the line.

Use A Drain Screen

A drain screen is always a good idea, whether you’re in the shower and need to catch hair, or you’re in the kitchen and need to catch food particles, proper use of a drain screen will go a long way in preventing clogs.

Following these 6 tips to prevent a clogged drain will assist in avoiding a clogged pipe and an expensive mess. Pipe breakages and drain overflows can easily be caused by an unattended clog, leading to unwanted water damage. If you do experience water damage due to plumbing failure in the Sonoma County area, give RCS a call. Our 24/7 emergency response team will come right away to assess the situation and resolve your water damage concerns.

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5 Simple Ways To Prevent Water Damage

A flood or a storm is an unstoppable force of nature. Not so with many other sources of water damage. While you can’t avoid a natural disaster, you may be able to prevent water leaks that can lead to extensive damage. Here are five ways to keep the water where it belongs and away from where it doesn’t.

Have your roof inspected yearly

Don’t panic. You probably won’t need roof repairs every year. Yet, without a roof inspection, you might not know when you do need repairs. A yearly roof inspection is the best way to ensure that you discover missing shingles, damaged flashing, and other roof problems and correct them before they can cause water damage.

Clean your gutters

When rain comes, it has to go somewhere. As it slides off your roof, your gutters are designed to direct it away from your home’s roof, foundation, and walls. If not, the water can get into places you don’t want it to be. You need to keep the gutters cleaned out, so the water can run away freely.

Keep your sump pump in good repair

A sump pump can help prevent water damage in a basement, but only if it’s working properly. If your sump pump has an alarm to warn you when it loses power, change the battery regularly. Have a plumber check your sump pump once a year. Repair or replace it promptly if your plumber suggests it.

Watch your water bill

Your water bill can be a vital clue about the health of your plumbing. Keep track of the amount of water you’re using every month. If your water usage spikes suddenly, you may have a leaky pipe, a leaky toilet, or a dripping faucet you need to have repaired. Pay closest attention to the gallons used column on your water bill.

Replace old appliance connections

Washers and dishwashers can often go years without any maintenance. It’s easy to just set them up and forget about them. But, as the water connections age, they can rust or crack, causing slow leaks and the potential for major gushers. Change the hoses about every three to five years to prevent water leaks.

Dealing with water damage in Sonoma County? Contact us for 24/7 emergency support.

Everything You Need to Know about Frozen Pipes

Everything You Need to Know about Frozen Pipes

We Californians don't normally have to worry about frozen pipes, so when we have to deal with them, such as when we have a vacation home in a place that endures winter weather, we may be unprepared to deal with things like frozen pipes. Read on to learn more about what frozen pipes are and how you can prevent or limit damage resulting from a pipe freeze.

Frozen pipes occur during winter months, when temperatures plummet below freezing. This impacts exposed or minimally protected pipes at risk, thanks to the unique nature of water, which expands when it freezes. The expansion of frozen water can compromise the integrity of the pipes it’s frozen in and can cause them to swell and burst.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Prevention is key to avoiding frozen pipes, and there are some proactive measures that you can take to keep pipes on your property from freezing.

First, you need to assess the location of your pipes. Many newer homes built in colder climates are designed with pipes toward the center of the home to avoid issues with exposure to cold air and eliminate the likelihood that they will freeze. However, there are plenty of homes with exposed pipes in crawlspaces and poorly insulated exterior walls.

Regardless of your setting, here are some practical tips you should consider for preventing frozen pipes:

  • Wrap – use foam insulation to wrap pipes and keep them insulated from fluctuating temperatures

  • Dome – use specially designed domes to cover outdoor connection points, such as spigots

  • Open doors – keep doors to kitchens and bathrooms with sinks open to allow warm air from the center of the home into these piped areas

  • Drip – during bitterly cold times, drip a faucet or two to keep water moving through the pipes to minimize the risk of a freeze

What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze

Even if you’ve done your due diligence, a bitterly cold day or an unexpected freeze during a family vacation may result in frozen pipes. To avoid issues associated with a pipe burst, try the following tips to mitigate the problem:

  • Run a faucet – running a faucet will tell you if you should suspect a frozen pipe by releasing only a trickle, rather than a full stream

  • Apply heat to the suspected frozen pipe, in order to try and break up the ice inside the pipe

    • Use a hair dryer, heating pad, or space heater to apply heat

    • NEVER use a blowtorch or any other flame in an attempt to warm a pipe

  • Continue to run water

  • If pressure is not restored, call a plumber to get professional help in alleviating the frozen pipe problem

With the right prevention and care in minding your home’s pipe, you can avoid the nasty side effects of a frozen pipe problem. And should you encounter an issue, you can follow some simple steps to solve the problem and restore water flow to your faucets.

Warning Signs Of A Sewer Pipe Damage

Warning Signs Of A Sewer Pipe Damage


If you can’t truthfully say that you’re a plumber or a professional of a related field, chances are you won’t know about the warning signs involved with having a pipe about to break or fail. It’s important as a homeowner or building manager for you to be able to recognize the signs of an impending sewage spill. Spotting it early can mean saving thousands of dollars, so it’s important to know the big signs.

Warning Signs Of An Impending Sewage Spill


Unexplainable Water Bills

This is actually perhaps the most telltale sign of a pipe breakage or need for repair. Your water bill gives a factual record of how much water you are using. Bill overages indicate a leak or a burst pipe. Most Pennsylvanians average a water bill around $40 a month, and if you find yourself with a bill $5-10 dollars more expensive in a month, you likely have a problem with one of your pipes.

Repulsive Odors

If you smell a foul odor in your home or building, then you likely have water damage internally that has allowed mold or mildew to form. The water buildup comes from a damaged pipe, and the foul odors from the stagnant water. If you are smelling odors like these and can’t find a source for it in your house, you need to get your system checked ASAP.

Poor Water Pressure and Flow

Water pressure in your home or building is another great indicator for pipe damage. If there is less flow, how much water is put out, in your sink, shower, etc., there is a leak somewhere in one of your pipes. Water pressure, rather, is how hard the water is pushed out, and variance here indicates an expanded or burst pipe.

Constant Clogging

Blockages may seem like a normal occurence in your household but they may spell trouble. These blockages can result in more serious damage, particularly if you have old or damaged pipes and the clog proves to be the tougher. If after thorough cleaning, you still experience clogs, you most likely have a broken pipe in your sewage system.

Damp Spots

Lastly, if you see damp spots that you know aren’t from a spill, especially on carpet, there’s likely existing damage that could lead to serious problems if not treated.

To learn more about water damage and repair services, visit us at or call us at (707) 570-0555.