Preventing Water Damage Saves You Money
By taking a few steps and using a strategy, you can prevent all of the most common types of water damage. The unexpected, such as weather-based flooding, can also be prepared for, if not prevented from happening.
The most common sources of water damage in your structure are always the same. The appliances within the building, such as the water heater, dishwasher, clothes washer, air conditioning units, and refrigerators are all the usual suspects when you first inspect a home for water damage. You should especially check aging appliances, as the older a machine is, the more likely it is to have developed rust or bad hoses which both can lead to leaks in your home. Rust usually leads to smaller leaks, but a broken hose that you are not aware of can lead to major water damage and possible flooding.
In addition to appliances, the pipes and drains within your home are another major source of water damage. The system of piping within your home is always in danger of being clogged or stopped. If a drain or pipes become clogged, this can lead to overflowing toilets, sinks or washing machines. Grease build up in a kitchen sink or lint build up in a washing machine can cause some types of blockages. Vegetation or tree roots in your sewer or plumbing can also cause leaks over time and major headaches if they are not detected in time.
Lastly, the roof is the last major area of possible leaking. Over time, the shingles in your roof can deteriorate, or simply start falling off. Blocked gutters and ice dams can prevent proper water drainage, forcing excess water to spill off somewhere else within your house. If your attic is improperly insulated or ventilated, this can also affect the longevity of your roof. Other possible wear on your roof comes from outside elements like wind, snow, rain, and ice, in addition to possible foot traffic. All of these things can prevent a roof from keeping the water out of your home.
Dealing with Water Damage
The way to deal with water damage is to take the steps to examine places of potential water damage in your home. Some things that you can do yourself are quite simple. When looking over the interior of your home, go through a few simple steps. Check the hoses on all your major appliances that use water or drain lines. This includes washing machines, dishwashers, ice makers and refrigerators, and any other appliances that require water. Regularly re-caulk your sinks, showers, bathroom tubs, and drains in order to waterproof the sides of the areas that are constantly getting wet. Replacing missing tiles is also important to protect the drywall beneath, Schedule regular maintenance inspections for your air conditioning units with a certified HVAC contractor, which will keep the machines running well, efficiently, and without excessive energy consumption. Also, make sure to follow the manufacturer recommended schedules for maintenance on all your appliances. In cold weather, make sure that all your water pipes are exposed (in garages or basements, for example) are properly insulated to prevent freezing water from building up in the pipes. It is also a good idea to leave a tiny trickle of water when the weather turns extremely cold. For piping under the sinks, it might be a good idea to open cabinet doors or expose areas that hide pipes away in order to allow interior heat to reach them properly.
To check the exterior of your home properly, you should hire a professional roofing contractor to maintain your roofing adequately. By ensuring that your attic is also properly ventilated and insulated, you can ensure that your roofing will last as long as possible without any leaks or water damage. Make sure to also regularly check and clean all gutters, water runoffs, downspouts, and eaves on your house. All of these things should be free-flowing and directing water flow away from your foundation. Finally, make sure to disconnect outdoor water faucets in the cold weather, to ensure that these pipes do not burst in the winter.
In addition to all this, there are active and passive leak detection systems that can be installed in your home. Some of these systems attach to your home’s plumbing, while others are battery operated emergency units that operate independently. What you choose can help alert you to water damage in your home and prevent trouble spots from catching you off guard.