Summer is my favorite time of year! I enjoy hosting friends and family and have designed a great backyard entertainment area that makes it easy and fun. However, the area of my house that gets the most wear and tear during the summer is the bathroom closest to my backyard. This room gets a lot of use so keeping my plumbing fixtures in tip-top shape is high on my list of priorities.
Take it from the Coop, just a little ongoing preventative maintenance can head-off an inconvenient malfunction. Of course, that’s easy for me to say since I’m a plumber by trade, but if you’re a DIY’er, you can probably take care of some or all of this maintenance yourself. If you don’t have the expertise or the time, it’s best to call a professional plumbing contractor, like Cooper Mechanical, who can take care of common issues before they become expensive projects.
Here are a few maintenance tasks that will help keep your bathroom performing at its best all summer.
We have lots of guests (especially kids) who shower after they come out of the pool. Over time, the drain gets clogged with hair, grass, soap, and other debris that’s been washed away. Every week, I run the shower to visually make sure that the water drains normally, and if I see it’s draining slower than usual, I remove the strainer and snake the drain to clear the obstruction. This helps alleviate any bigger issues, like my shower overflowing.
Nobody’s a fan of a clogged toilet, but sometimes it occurs. I make sure that there’s always spare rolls of toilet paper handy so that nobody flushes down a paper towel instead. Even tissues aren’t a good substitute because although a tissue is soft, it’s not made to dissolve as quickly and completely as TP. I keep a toilet auger or plunger on hand in the bathroom to dislodge the clog and get the toilet functioning again.
In addition, from time to time, I inspect the inner mechanism of my toilet to make sure all the components are adjusted properly. In particular, I make sure that the rubber flapper maintains a tight seal so there’s no water trickling from the tank to the bowl, which is waste of water. Then, I look at the lift chain which attaches the flushing handle to the flapper to make sure it has the right amount of slack to properly flush the toilet. Lastly, I confirm that the water in the toilet tank is at an appropriate level to flush down the contents in the bowl.
By the way, although it’s tempting to drop a cleaning tablet in the toilet tank to help keep the bowl clean, manufacturers warn against it because these chemicals can wreak havoc with the mechanism – particularly the rubber flange. Chances are greater that the parts won’t last as long in that kind of corrosive environment.
I have a rule in my house that before you turn on the shower, you MUST switch on the bathroom fan and keep it operating for 20 minutes after you turn off the shower to make sure all the steam is vented out of the bathroom. You may think that the main purpose of this fan is to minimize odors, which it does, but more importantly, proper ventilation is key to healthy air. The bathroom fan helps prevent excessive moisture from collecting on surfaces and creating an environment for mold and mildew to flourish. Over time, moisture can damage wall board, paint, wood trim, and doors. Sure, you can open a window every time the shower is used but particularly in the summer, the outside air tends to be humid which defeats the purpose of opening the window. It takes very little effort to flick a switch and reduce moisture but it can be expensive and time-consuming to remediate mold.
The other day, I noticed that my faucet was leaking slightly by the handle. Although the problem was fixable, since the faucet was 20 years old and beginning to look a little worn, I splurged on a brand new faucet in a stylish brushed nickel finish that doesn’t show fingerprints or water spots as much and is easy to maintain. It updated the look of my whole bathroom!
Do you plan to host family and friends this summer? Which room in your house will get the most wear and tear? You may need the services of a professional plumbing contractor like Cooper Mechanical, who can fix a leak, remove a clog, or spruce up a plumbing fixture to help get you through the summer season without a hiccup. We’re a full-service heating, cooling, and plumbing company that’s at your service – 24/7 – for emergencies. Call us at 610-847-2441 and we’d be happy to help prepare your home for summertime entertaining.