Indoor plumbing is about far more than just repairing damage or troubleshooting sudden problems that may come up. Sure, calling a plumber is sometimes necessary, but this unfortunate and expensive possibility can be avoided in most cases by taking some important precautions to ensure that your plumbing system stays in good shape. Don’t create the need to call a plumber; follow these steps and you’ll avoid it.

1. Always be aware of leaks

Leaks are the bane of a plumbing system’s existence. What begins as a tiny leak could balloon into something much larger, causing flooding and potentially irreparable damage to parts of your home. Don’t ignore leaks or assume they’ll stay the way they are. If a leak is small, there’s no telling how big it could get in the future. Check your ways, basement, garage, crawl spaces and any other place that could house an unnoticed leak. Parts of the home that aren’t insulated should be particularly paid attention to, as a lack of insulation can leave pipes more open to damage. A plumber can actually be useful here in order to help you notice things that you might not otherwise see. Find the leaks in your home, get them patched up and you’ll avoid costly measures in the future.

2. Insulate and drain

Speaking of insulation, it’s important to insulate and drain faucets and pipes before winter comes. When winter hits, water inside these pipes can freeze and therefore expand, causing pipes to crack or burst. It’s important to keep these pipes from freezing by draining them before the winter and insulating them so the cold is not as harsh on them. There are a few ways to do this, including using a hose bib on garden hoses, turning off water flow in irrigation systems and contacting a residential plumber to help drain and insulate these areas.

3. Weatherproof

There are certain areas that are open and exposed to the elements, and these must be weatherproofed in order to keep them safe. Seals must be tight, and sometimes caulking must be done in order to keep things insulated and to keep your plumbing from freezing in the winter. Repair windows as well, as damaged windows can let cold air in that will freeze your pipes and necessitate costly repairs.

4. Insulate your pipes

If you prevent any air from flowing through your home, mold can grow. Pipes must be insulated so that air can flow past them without freezing them. Insulating is easy, and can simply involve installing foam tubing or towels around your pipes. This will take some of the heavy lifting off of the shoulders of your water heater during the winter as well, as the heat will remain in the pipes rather than being lost to the elements.

There you have it, four very important ways you can manage your home plumbing in order to avoid the need to call a plumber at a later date. These methods will be very cheap relative to the cost of a plumber coming out to fix everything, so keep that in mind.