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Water Damage Prevention Tips
Water damage is one of the most damaging and destructive problems that can affect any home or business. Unlike fire, which does most of its damage right away and may be fairly quickly extinguished, water damage may languish in the unseen nooks and crannies of your property for weeks, months, or even years, all the while causing damage that may or may not be discovered before it has had the chance to cause serious problems.
Water damage does not get better on its own, and it certainly does not repair itself. Water damage gets progressively worse, and many times brings with it additional long term problems such as mold and mildew, as well as the premature rotting of wood and rusting of metal, both of which may result in serious compromising of the structure of a residence or business.
Water leaks can create problems that amount in the millions of dollars every year, however, most of these problems may be easily prevented by simply being proactive and keeping a watchful eye on areas of the home that may be prone to water problems. Catching water problems before they can be fruitful and multiply will save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repair costs.
Consider the following areas of your home when looking for water problems.
Roof – Inspect the roof for signs of damage, including missing shingles or damaged flashing. The underside of the roof should also be inspected for water spots, a clear indication of water problems. The roof is the first line of defense against water damage, so repair any problems as they are found.
Doors and Windows – Caulking and seals around doors and windows should be in good shape, with no cracks or gaps that might allow access by water. Streaks or stains below windows or on drywall are clear indicators that water has already gotten into the structure. Siding and drywall should be cut out and replace.
Exterior Walls – these should be properly sealed in order to prevent water leaks. Cracks around pipes or vents should also be sealed up.
Gutters – these should be periodically inspected and cleaned to keep them free and clear of obstructions and clogging. Downspouts should slope away from the home and channel water away from the structure.
Yard – landscaping should slope away from the home for a distance of no less than ten feet. More is preferred, but ten feet is the minimum.
Being proactive in your home inspections can go a long way towards keeping your home free from damage due to water, rain, or flooding problems.