In order to preserve your home and keep it in a good condition for a long time, it is important to be aware of every little thing that can cause damage to it. After all, the costs of home maintenance are much lower than home repairs especially when they accumulate over time.
There are some things that can actually damage your home without you noticing until it is too late. One of these is the quality of water that you are using. If your house is using hard water, this could be harming your plumbing, appliances, sinks, bathtubs, and other surfaces in the house. But because the damage is not immediately obvious, it can easily be overlooked.
Signs That You Have Hard Water
Hard water is characterized by the level of calcium and magnesium molecules present in it. A composition of 121 to 180 milligrams per liter classifies the water as hard, and more than 180 milligrams per liter is considered very hard.
While these minerals are not always immediately visible, there are telltale signs that would indicate their presence in your water. A quick way to do this is by observing your hands after washing with soap.
Since soap would have a chemical reaction with calcium, it will create a thin layer of slimy film on your hands that is difficult to wash off. Your hands will still feel slippery even after rinsing, thus leading to a longer washing time, plus more water and cleansers are consumed.
Another way to check is by directly mixing any cleanser with your water in a closed container. If it fails to generate a lot of bubbles after shaking, it is highly probable that you have hard water. For further assurance, take a water sample and have it checked at a nearby laboratory. You can also ask a water testing company to do a test on-site.
Impact Of Hard Water On Your Home
Hard water combined with soap leaves a residue on surfaces, which creates a strain not only on your glassware but on practically any surface in the house that regularly comes in contact with soapy water. This is called soap scum and manifests as white lines on your bathroom walls, kitchen sink, bathtub, and your floor when it dries up. These stains are usually quite difficult to clean or scrub off.
Your drinking glasses also get affected by hard water. Similar to the results when washing your hands, hard water tends to leave a residue on the glass surface, making it look cloudy or spotty.
Since hard water reacts with cleansers and creates much less bubble-up or creates suds, you need to use larger amounts of soap or detergent when cleaning your clothes, dishes, and appliances. Aside from this, hard water leaves mineral deposits on the fabric that can also lead to discoloration on your clothes, particularly the white and light-colored ones
Heating hard water causes the calcium molecules to solidify and form white chunks which will stick to the nearby surfaces. This creates a build-up in appliances like a coffee maker or water heater, thus decreasing the efficiency and usability of these appliances.
Your plumbing could also be damaged by hard water as it causes an accumulation of residue while moving through the pipes. These water pipes will then slowly close up as the space inside gets narrower, leading to lower water pressure and even clogging. The increased stress on the pipes will also reduce their life span, forcing you to spend more on home repairs.
Ways To Resolve The Effects Of Hard Water
In order to fully fix the problems brought about by hard water, there is a need to address the root of the issue first. Otherwise, the same situation will just happen over and over again. Thus, it is best to have a water softener system in your house that will easily remove the mineral deposits in your water.
Meanwhile, there are temporary measures that you can take to protect your home from further damage. Manage the soap scum on your kitchen and bathroom surfaces by using a cleaning aid that is specifically formulated for hard water. By countering the calcium content in the water, these special cleaners are able to prevent the formation of soap scum.
Make your laundry time easier by using washing soda. This consists of sodium carbonate that can remove the minerals from the water, enabling you to lather up your cleansers more easily. As for the white stains left behind on your counters and surfaces, soak a wiping cloth in vinegar and use it to clean off the stained areas. Vinegar will work to neutralize the calcium build-up, and the stains can then be wiped off with less effort.