PEX Pipe Is Vulnerable

Rodents Chewing Through PEX Pipe is a common problem in our area. It doesn’t matter how old your home is, if you have an attic, you need to watch for rodent damage to PEX Pipe or PVC. If you’re hearing rustling noises coming from the attic, it’s time to do an inspection. It won’t be long before these critters look for something to gnaw on.

It’s instinctive, especially with tree climbers like rats and squirrels. According to NYC Rodentologist Dr. Bobby Corrigan, rat’s incisors (the front teeth) are hard — harder than iron, platinum and copper. Measured on the Mohs hardness scale, the rat’s lower incisors rank 5.5 (diamond is a 10). Therefore, a rodent can, and will, gnaw through water pipes to get to food and water when they smell it.

Pex Pipe and PVC are Malleable

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 most importantly, they have an ability to chew through plastic water pipes in hard-to-reach places.

Actual TDT Plumbing Client Rodent Damaged PEX Pipe

Rodents and Pex Pipe

Want more proof? Just watch this amusing video from National Geographic on rat’s ability to get through small spaces and to swim:

 

 

If you have PEX or PVC piping throughout your house, you can take steps today to prevent rodents from chewing through the pipes and causing water damage.

Protecting Your PEX Pipe or PVC Pipe

The damage from rodents chewing through water pipes can be substantial and can occur either over time or happen as a major flooding incident.

When damage is gradual, 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.

The good news is that by taking a few preventative measures, you can keep rodents from chewing through your water pipes.

  1. Locate areas of activity. It won’t be hard to find where rodents are entering and exiting your home because their will be “droppings” or feces in areas where the animals are hanging out. This is a sure sign that there is an entry point nearby.
  2. Replace cracked or broken weatherstripping around doors and windows to ensure that pests cannot enter. Cover the dryer vent or any other exterior vents with 1/4-inch hardware cloth. Make sure to seal up any spaces around window or wall-mounted air conditioners.
  3. Provide a water source. It may seem like you’re encouraging the problem but setting out a bowl of water will keep rodents from chewing on water lines to hydrate allowing you time to do preventive maintenance.
  4. Keeping the outside of your home clean and tidy removes potential hiding places for rodents around the house, garage, and yard. Rodents are climbers. Keep trees trimmed away from your roofline to prevent easy access.

Dealing With Water Damage

If you end up experiencing water damage from rodents chewing through PEX pipes, it’s important to address the problem quickly with the help of an expert who can guide you through the proper steps. TDT Plumbing has helped many clients deal with rodent damage to PEX.  We have long-term solutions and can manage any kind of repiping or pipe repair project.

About TDT Plumbing

TDT Plumbing has served Houston homeowners for over 20 years with exceptional service. We are forensic pipe specialists and can get to the bottom of any pipe leak in your home or in your sewer lines. We can often save homeowners money with our ePIPE technology. Call us today at (713) 697-2088 and we’ll do a thorough inspection. You can also visit: TDTPlumbing.com for more information.

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