About 8.5 million people live in the great state of Virginia, and we are a diverse bunch. Virginia is home to people of all backgrounds and of all walks of life. But we all have some things in common. And here’s one that you might not think about: We all need reliable plumbing in our homes and places of work.

It might not be glamorous, but it’s true. And that’s why Virginians need to stay on top of their residential and commercial plumbing needs. Here are a few things all Virginians should know about plumbing systems.

You need a plumber who knows your system

In some areas of Virginia, virtually every home and business is connected to a municipal sewer system. In other areas, virtually none are. Septic tanks, which work well in rural areas, may be in place instead.

No matter what your home or business has in place, you need to make sure that you deal with plumbing professionals who understand it. Go with local experts, and make sure that they are fully licensed and certified.

Don’t be a stranger. Contact your plumber regularly and build a relationship. Schedule maintenance visits and take your plumber’s advice. And don’t wait until there’s a disaster to call. Regular investments in your home or business’ plumbing system are the smarter move.

Postponing plumbing repairs and maintenance is a big mistake

Here’s a piece of advice that applies not only to folks in Virginia, but to people all around the country in the world: Skipping plumbing maintenance is a very bad idea.

That may seem like common sense, but you might be surprised by how many people make the mistake of putting off plumbing work. Some folks think that they can save money by skipping a maintenance checkup or by tackling a small repair themselves. In many cases, an expert plumber Manassas VA explains, the strategy backfires.

You can probably guess how. Maybe a DIY repair doesn’t stick, or maybe it actually makes the problem worse. Maybe an issue with a plumbing system that would have been caught in a routine check goes unnoticed, because no routine check was made — and then that problem grows larger. Or maybe a small issue that goes unfixed or insufficiently fixed gets bigger or causes unexpected (to the homeowner, anyway!) problems with related systems elsewhere in the home.

In every case, of course, the costs associated with plumbing repair and maintenance work will get larger, not smaller. So do yourself a favor by sticking to a regular maintenance schedule with a trusted plumber, and don’t cost yourself more later by being cheap now.

Keeping up to code

Keeping up with your plumbing system isn’t just a good idea for your home or business space and for your wallet. It’s actually the law. The state of Virginia Plumbing Code lays out the requirements for a proper plumbing system, and failing to live up to its standards can get you fined.

Why does the state care about your plumbing system? Well, because this is serious stuff.  A plumbing problem can be a real disaster for your property, as well as for nearby properties. Big issues in your home or business can affect other nearby and connected plumbing systems. And health hazards that arise from plumbing issues can cause problems on the community level.

The good news is that it isn’t too hard to keep your system up to code. You need only to team up with a trained and licensed plumber and let your plumbing team take care of things for you. But you do need to stay on top of this, so be sure to invest in regular maintenance and speedy repairs. With a good plumbing team, you can be confident that all fixes and improvements that you make will be up to code.