How To Protect Your Water Lines From Mice And Woodchucks

If you live in a more rural area, then you likely have a number of animals that live around your property. Some of these pests might try to find shelter in or near your home. The rodents and small mammals can cause damage to your home, and your immediate concerns probably revolve around the damage to your siding and electrical system. Pests can also destroy your water pipes. If a leak occurs in your home, then you can call a plumber to supply a repair.  You need to take care of the pest problem as well, and the information below can show you how to do this.

Mouse Problems

What Happens?

Mice will often find their way into homes through very small holes. Once they find their way into your residence, the mice will look for both food and shelter. Shelter can be found in the dark and warm corners of your basement, and nests are made out of soft materials that are located in the space. In some instances, the soft materials may be gathered from your piping insulation. Not only will the polyethylene insulation provide nesting materials, but it will also help mice to wear down their teeth. Mice constantly chew on both hard and soft objects to keep their teeth sharp.

When mice eat away at your piping insulation, they leave your pipes exposed to cold temperatures. This can cause a freezing problem in your home. If your pipes get too cold in the winter, then they may burst and cause excessive water damage. When this happens, you must contact a plumber for an emergency appointment. New pipes will then be installed.

How Can You Prevent the Issue?

One of the easiest ways to keep your piping insulation intact is to close off all the small holes in your home so that mice are unable to get into your basement. Mice can make their way through holes that are only about one-quarter of an inch wide. This means that you need to fill in or cover the smallest of openings that appear around the base of your home.  

Inspect the exterior of your house and look for these openings. When they are found, use steel wool, aluminum flashing, or other types of metal material to close the spaces. Mice cannot chew through metal materials. Make sure to use silicone caulk to secure your materials so that the mice cannot move them.

Once you have closed up the holes, click here for more info on how to make sure to protect your piping insulation. You need to do this in case mice do get into your home. You do not need to replace your insulation with new materials, but you do need to cover the soft polyethylene with a metal material. Foil tape is one of your best options to cover your insulation. Purchase either an aluminum or copper variety from your local home store and add either one or two layers of it to your piping insulation.

Woodchuck Difficulties

What Happens?

Woodchucks are large rodents that you may see roaming around your property. These animals like to burrow into the ground, and they create a series of tunnels that provide shelter and security. A single woodchuck can create 30 feet of tunnels across your property, and the tunnels can reach five feet below the earth. Unfortunately, if your main water line is located close to these tunnels, then water can seep down near the pipe during the winter months.    

Water lines are secured three to five feet below the ground line to prevent freezing concerns. When a woodchuck digs tunnels, then the ground is disturbed above the main line. Also, the tunnels allow air to reach further below the earth. This means that the water that travels to the water pipe can freeze. This can cause a major concern, and a plumber will need to dig up your lawn and replace the water pipe when it bursts. This is both time consuming and expensive.

How Can You Prevent the Issue?

You can keep your underground water lines protected by driving woodchucks away from your property. Woodchucks are very timid animals, and this means that small amounts of movement and noise will force the rodents to find safer places to dig their tunnels. Place a number of windsocks, pinwheels, and other moving ornaments around the exterior of your home. Also, hang up wind chimes to scare the woodchucks away.  

If you find woodchuck tunnels near your house, then locate the various openings that lead to the tunnels and place strong smelling substances just inside the entrances. Freshly chopped garlic, lemon juice, and chili powder are good options to disturb the woodchuck's home. Once you see the woodchucks leave the area, fill in the entrances with as much soil as you can fit in the tunnels. If you fill in the holes in the spring, then use a sprinkler to water the ground above the openings. This will help to wet the soil so the tunnels collapse.

If you have pests that live on your property, then you need to make sure that these animals do not destroy your plumber. This can result in a major leak issue. The information above explains how mice and woodchucks can cause plumbing damage, and it also tells you how you can prevent problems.