Even though hard water does not usually pose any health risks to the user, it does cause a lot of destruction to your plumbing, water appliances, silverware, and even your clothes.
It can also damage your hair and skin.
Hard water is a common yet potentially costly problem in most houses. Here are some of the signs that your home has hard water and how to deal with it.
Water Stains and Spots
If you notice any brown, orange, or reddish stains on your toilets, sinks, and water appliances, this is a sign that your home potentially has hard water. If these stains—such as the ring in the toilet or the buildup around the sink drain—aren’t cleaned in a timely manner, they may become permanent.
You can usually remove them with chemical or homemade cleaners or with abrasives like pumice stone or steel wool.
However, these are short-term solutions. Additionally the longer the stain is left, the harder it will be to remove.
Hard water also tends to leave behind spots on dishes and glasses. While these won’t typically affect the taste or health of your food, they are unsightly and can dull the glass over time.
To prevent this, try water softener treatments for your home or dry dishes manually after washing them.
Dry Hair and Skin
Water is necessary for things like bathing and washing your hands. However, if you have hard water, you may not be getting the results you want.
The minerals in the water react with soap to form a layer of scum which is hard to rinse off. This makes it difficult for your hair to absorb moisture, leaving it looking dull and lifeless.
Eventually, this can damage your hair, causing split ends, dryness, and a duller color. The layer of scum also results in dry skin since it is difficult to completely rinse the layer off.
Damaged Plumbing and Water Appliances
Hard water especially wreaks havoc on plumbing and water appliances. The accumulation of scale and the drying out of rubber seals can greatly reduce the lifespan of machines and appliances.
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Additionally, in plumbing, the build-up of hard water minerals can lead to clogs, causing reduced water flow and even burst pipes. Dealing with these can be very costly since you either have to replace or repair the appliances and plumbing.
The components of hard water cause fabric fibers to deteriorate, which makes your clothing lose color and shortens the lifespan of your clothes. The soap curd formed when cleaning with hard water can also alter clothing from its original color.
A good example is when a white shirt turns yellow over time.
Getting Rid of Hard Water
Plumbing professionals can help treat the hard water in your home. This treatment of hard water can be either mechanical or chemical.
Mechanical treatment mainly involves applying physical methods like the use of plastic pipes in plumbing or ion exchange through the use of a water softener. Chemical treatment refers to the addition of chemicals or water softeners to hard water.
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Chemicals such as slaked lime and sodium carbonate are added to hard water to soften it. Talk to your plumber when deciding which would be best for your home.
Dealing with the damage that hard water causes can be expensive, frustrating, and time-consuming. However, early detection and the installation of preventive measures in your home can help prevent and reverse damage.
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Image credit: signs that your home has hard water by twenty20.com
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