A very common question we get here at AdvantaClean is how to prevent water damage caused by pests and rodents chewing through plastic pipes. This is a big problem for some homeowners, and unfortunately, this question arises after the damage has already been done and they've called us to help clean up the problem. However, if you have plastic/pvc piping throughout your house, you can take steps today to prevent rodents from chewing through the pipes and causing water damage.
Alert! Water Damage! Rodents Wreak Havoc on Water Pipes
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Plastic Hoses and Pests: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Finding out you have rodents or other critters living in your house can be an unsettling discovery. Mice and rats are dangerous because they can bite, bring fleas and disease into a home, and create a toxic environment by defecating and urinating within the walls. But they also pose another danger; an ability to chew through plastic water pipes in hard-to-reach places.
Rodents and Water Pipe Damage
The damage from rodents chewing through water pipes can be substantial and can occur either over time, or as one big "flood."
When damage is slow, a small amount of water will continuously seep in spaces within the walls, causing buildup of toxic mold and rotting of wooden beams. Drop by drop, the damage can accumulate over weeks into a problem that can cost thousands of dollars to fix.
In other cases, mice and rats can chew through water pipes that are already weak and worn out. Because the pipe is already fragile, the rodent damage can cause the pipe to burst, with large amounts of water loss occurring quickly.
How to Stop Water Damage from Rodents
The good news is that by taking a few preventative measures, you can keep rodents from chewing through your water pipes.
1. Provide a Water Source: If you suspect there are rodents living in your house, a good idea is to provide an easily accessible water source for them. At first, this sounds counter-intuitive. After all, it's not like you want to run a bed and breakfast for mice and rats. However, by providing them an easy to find water source (like a dog bowl) temporarily while trying to exterminate them, this will help you remove their motivation to chew through the pipes to get water.
This is especially important if you're using poison to kill the rodents, because poison dehydrates them. As they're dying, they will go to extreme lengths to find a water source and the mice or rats will quickly chew even through metal water pipes to get to water, not to mention plastic pipes. By giving them an easy water source, you'll significantly reduce chances of damage as the poison takes time to work.
2. Use Traps Instead of Poison: Another approach to reduce damage to plastic pipes is to use rodent traps instead of poison. Traps will catch and kill the rodent, so the animal won't go through the dehydration phase involved in poisoning. When combined with an easy to access water source, you can get rid of the pests without pushing them to work their way around the water pipe system.
3. Seal Rodent Entryways:Rodents will get into your house through even the smallest holes in the building. And if they need to, they'll chew a hole to get in. To reduce this possibility, inspect the outside of your house and the roof for any holes that may be present. Seal off even the smallest openings, as the bones in rodents' skulls are generally not fused together, which allows them to squeeze through even the tiniest openings.
4. If you have a crawl space, inspect it as well, and seal up any holes.
Dealing with Water Damage from Rodents
If you end up experiencing water damage from rodents chewing through plastic pipes, it's important to address the problem quickly with the help of an expert who can guide you through the proper steps. We've helped many clients in such situations and can help you, too with our 24/7/365 emergency response team!
If you have experienced water damage due to rodents chewing water pipes, call AdvantaClean @ 877.800.2382 immediately to set up a mitigation consultation.
AdvantaClean offers emergency water damage services 24/7/365.
More info? Check out our post Best Practices to Prevent Water Damage for helpful tips on preventing water damage in you home!