How to Prevent Rodents From Damaging Your Plumbing

Rodents affect many Australian homes.  Family homes are especially prone to mice and rat infestations.  When you hear noises in the walls and ceilings they are not only nesting but also looking for food and water.  Rats in your home can bring fleas and disease and can contaminate food.  Most homeowners don’t know much about pests, especially rats and understand they don’t want them in or near their homes.  Knowing the damage they can cause may help provide further incentive for you to keep them away.

Rats love to chew, if they locate certain plastic or plastic pipes whether it’s a hot or cold water pipe or extremely hard plastic which is used for waste or discharge pipes. They will begin to chew on it.

Rats can chew the following materials:

  •  Copper Pipe
  •  PVC
  •  PEX

They do this in search of a water source, it doesn’t matter how old your home is, if you have hot and cold Pex pipes and/or PVC you need to watch out for rats.

Rats incisors (the front teeth) are hard – harder than iron, platinum and copper. Measured on the Mohs hardness scale, the rats lower incisors rank 5.5 ( a diamond is 10) therefore a rat can and will gnaw through any water pipe or waste pipes to get to food and water when they smell it.

The damage from rats chewing through water pipes can be substantial and costly. Recently, one of our clients in Crib Point had multiple water leaks throughout their home which included walls and ceilings caused by rats who had managed to chew through the pipes at one time. The costs to not only replace the water pipes but also repair the water damaged ceilings and walls were around $20,000 and their insurance company would not cover these costs.

Rodent damage found on residental water pipes.

Taking a few preventative measures can keep rats from chewing through your pipes and save you considerable expense down the road.

  •  Locate areas of activity (look for droppings)
  •  Replace broken weather strips around doors and windows.
  •  Provide a water source (put a bowl of water out)
  •  Keep the outside of your home clean and tidy.
  •  Trim back overhanging trees (Rats can climb trees)
  •  Seal up any cracks in the external walls.
  •  Store food in sealed containers.
  •  Call a professional pest company to inspect your home.

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