While the temperatures may still be hot, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your Chicago plumbing system for winter with fall plumbing maintenance. By making sure your system is in good repair, you’ll be avoiding leaks and sewer and drain blockages that could put a strain on your building’s maintenance budget right at the end of the year.

Fall Plumbing Maintenance Checklist for Chicago Property Managers

When it comes to potential plumbing problems, it’s best to find them before they result in a plumbing catastrophe. Corrosion, small leaks, and partial clogs can all become major headaches once it gets cold and the ground freezes. For that reason, we recommend being proactive with fall plumbing maintenance.

  • Check your exterior water spigots and landscaping spigots for leaks and dripping water.
  • Consider having your sewer and parking lot drains hydro jetted.
  • Have any sump pumps inspected and repaired if needed.
  • Have your water heater inspected and flushed.
  • Have your backflow valves inspected and replaced if needed.
  • Have your water pipes inspected for leaks and corrosion.
  • Insulate any water pipes along exterior walls to prevent freezing.
  • Keep exterior drains free and clear of leaves and twigs, including garage and parking lot drains.
  • Remind your tenants of the best practices for drain and garbage disposal use.
  • Take care of any outstanding plumbing maintenance tickets.
  • Looks for trends in plumbing maintenance requests that may indicate the need for a deeper inspection of the issues.
  • Inspect your water bills for the previous 12 months. Have they increased or decreased? If they’ve increased, make plans to perform water-saving upgrades, like low-flow faucets and showerheads.

Sewer Pipe Plumbing Inspections

When is the last time your building’s sewer line entered your thoughts? If you haven’t had a backup or clog for a while, it may not be at the front of your mind. The truth is that sewer lines experience a lot of wear and tear, especially in multi-unit buildings and Chicago highrises. Just think, every time someone turns on a tap, takes a shower, or flushes a toilet, that water enters your sewer line. If the wastewater contains paper products that aren’t toilet paper, wet wipes, coffee grounds, or grease, you could have a clog building. This is because heavy paper products, like paper towels and wet wipes, can get stuck along the bottom of your pipe. When it’s combined with grease, even more items can get stuck in your sewer line, leading to clogs and the need for an emergency drain cleaning. To avoid this scenario, you may want to consider a sewer pipe plumbing inspection and hydro-jetting to clear any partial clogs before catastrophe strikes.

To help prevent future sewer pipe problems, you may want to consider handing out a pamphlet that explains the best practices when using garbage disposals and flushing items down the toilet. For example, did you know that wet wipes and other sanitary products that aren’t toilet paper cannot be flushed down a toilet? This includes cat litter and pet waste.

Water Pipe Plumbing Inspections

Potable water pipes can develop corrosion and cracks, especially along seams and joints. If your residents have complained about oddly colored water, water that smells funny, or low water pressure, you may have one or more leaks in your system. For this reason, we recommend scheduling a water pipe inspection in the fall that can detect leaks before they develop into complete blowouts and water damage. If your plumbing pipe inspection finds aging pipes, corrosion, and pinhole leaks and cracks, epoxy pipe lining may help by sealing cracks, preventing future corrosion, and extending the useful life of your plumbing pipes.

Storm and Parking Lot Drain Maintenance

Don’t forget about your parking lot and garage drains. These drainage systems help funnel stormwater off your property, but they can collect leaves, twigs, dirt, and road salt since they are outside. All of these things can lead to clogs in the pipes, which can result in floods on your property. To avoid this, remember to always remove any leaves, twigs, and debris over the drain grates and have your outdoor drainage systems regularly hydro jetted to make sure they are clear of any clogs. If you suspect that your outdoor drains are corroding and cracking, you can have them lined with an epoxy pipe liner, stopping further corrosion and sealing cracks and holes.

Building Pipe Inspections and Epoxy Pipe Lining with Nu Flow, Serving Chicago

Building pipe inspections are a great way to find out the condition of your potable water and drain and sewer lines. These inspections include a camera inspection of your plumbing pipes to determine if there is any corrosion, cracks, or holes, and it can be used for almost every type of plumbing pipe. Once your plumbing inspection is complete, we’ll tell you if your pipes are good candidates for pipelining and give you an estimate. If you choose to install epoxy pipe liners in your building, you’ll be extending the useful lives of your pipes, preventing further corrosion and improving water flow and water pressure. This is because the pipe lining process includes pipe cleaning, which removes all the debris down to the pipe walls, maximizing the diameter. Not to mention, our epoxy pipe linings come with a ten-year warranty.

To learn more about our epoxy pipe lining solutions, give us a call at 815-790-9000.