Water damage is a common problem for homes, and it’s not just something that happens in certain seasons. While getting your home ready for winter is important, if you neglect your house during the summer, hidden leaks can cause big problems. You can protect your home from water damage all year by following some easy steps.
Dealing with water damage in your home can be expensive, but the good news is you can avoid water damage to your home with some simple actions. While it might mean you need to do a little extra work to maintain your home, but the money you save and the peace of mind you get from preventing water damage is well worth the effort.
Common Causes of Water Damage
Flooding and water damage don’t only happen during heavy rains and hurricanes. It can occur because of various reasons and understanding these common causes is essential for preventing and addressing potential issues. Some of the most common causes of water damage are:
Leaking or Burst Pipes
One of the leading causes of water damage in homes is leaking or burst pipes. Over time, pipes can deteriorate, become corroded, or develop weak points. These weaknesses can lead to small leaks that worsen over time or sudden bursts and releasing a significant amount of water into your home.
Beyond pipe leaks and bursts, problems with plumbing fixtures like faucets, toilets, and water heaters can also lead to water damage. Malfunctioning or damaged plumbing fixtures can release water continuously or intermittently, which results in damage to walls, floors, and ceilings.
A damaged or poorly maintained roof can allow water to seep into your home. Missing shingles, cracked flashing, or damaged roof membranes can lead to leaks that gradually damage the interior of your house, including ceilings, walls, and insulation.
Clogged Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts play a crucial role in directing rainwater away from your home’s foundation. When they become clogged with leaves, debris, or ice, water can overflow and pool near the foundation, results in increased risk of basement flooding and foundation damage.
Household appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators are connected to water supply lines. If these lines develop leaks or connections loosen, water can spill into your home. Regular maintenance and inspection of these appliances are essential to prevent water damage.
A sewer line backup or blockage can lead to wastewater backing up into your home. This not only causes significant water damage but also poses health hazards due to contamination. A backflow prevention device or routine sewer line maintenance can help prevent this issue.
How to Avoid Water Damage in Your Home (Step by Step)
It’s really important to be extra careful to stop water from causing damage in your home. Here are some easy ways to prevent water damage:
Regularly Look for Possible Leaks
Even seemingly minor issues can cause significant damage if left unattended. For example, a small leak from a faucet might go unnoticed, but it can displace a surprising amount of water over time, potentially up to 57 gallons (260 liters) in a week. To prevent such damage, it’s essential to regularly inspect areas prone to leaks, like underneath sinks and around appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, and address any signs of water leakage promptly. This proactive approach can save you from costly repairs and the inconvenience of dealing with water damage in the future.
Check Sump Pump Functioning
Sump pumps are commonly found in homes with basements and are crucial for preventing basement flooding during extended rainy periods. To safeguard your home, make sure you have one installed the sump pumps, and ensure it receives proper maintenance and servicing at least once a year. This routine care helps guarantee sump pump functioning and protect your basement from potential water damage.
Take Measures to Avoid Pipe Freezing
To avoid your pipes from freezing, consider utilizing a smart thermostat to keep your home’s temperature above 10 degrees Celsius. This thermostat ensures that warm water continues to flow through your pipes and prevent freezing damage. For extended periods of property vacancy, it’s a good practice to shut off the water supply at the stopcock and consider draining the system to ensure no water remains in the pipes, which minimizes the risk of freezing and subsequent damage.
Set Up a Device for Detecting Water Leaks
Affordable water leak detection devices are designed to automatically turn off the water supply when they detect a leak, which makes them more valuable when your property is empty for long durations. These devices act as a safeguard against potential water damage, that results in your peace of mind by preventing leaks from causing extensive harm in your absence. Installing such a device can be a cost-effective way to protect your property from the risks of undetected water leaks.
Check Moisture or Mold Spots
Peeling paint or wallpaper and dark, speckled stains on baseboards and window sills may indicate the presence of moisture. If your walls consistently feel cold to the touch or emit a musty odor, consider enhancing insulation. Furthermore, monitor your windows and skylights for morning condensation, as it can suggest elevated indoor humidity levels. These actions help you detect and address moisture-related issues proactively.
Keep an Eye on Water Pressure
To measure water pressure, you can use a gauge available at a hardware store. Attach it to an outdoor faucet, fully open the faucet, and check the pressure. If the reading exceeds 100 psi, consider installing a pressure regulator to reduce the high pressure, which can otherwise lead to pipe failures and related issues in your home.
Familiarize Yourself with Water Main Shut-off
It’s important to locate and be able to turn off your water main, especially when leaving your home for a long period. The water main supplies water to your entire house, distributing it through various pipes for your household needs. Knowing how to shut it off is crucial for emergencies and when you’re away.
Maintain Your Household Appliances
Household appliances are a common source of water damage within homes. Regularly inspect and maintain your appliances following the manufacturer’s guidelines, with a focus on washing machine and refrigerator hoses. These hoses tend to develop leaks as they age and can be significant contributors to water damage; it’s recommended to replace them approximately every five years to prevent costly damage and potential messes in your home.
Monitor Your Water Utility Statement
Occasionally, the sole indication of a water leak is a careful examination of your water bill. If you notice a substantial increase in your bill without a clear reason, it’s time to become a “water detective.” Investigate potential sources, whether it’s a hidden crawl space leak or a pipe issue in your front yard. Addressing these mysterious leaks promptly is essential to prevent further damage and water waste.
Examine Your Sinks and Drainage Systems
Avoid disposing of cooking grease down the drain as it can solidify and block pipes. Exercise caution with chemical drain cleaners, as they can harm pipes and lead to leaks. Instead, consider using a drain snake to clear clogs, and adopt routine practices like cleaning drains, discarding debris in the trash. Ensure that the tub’s overflow drain functions properly, and inspecting drain taps in sink cabinets to prevent potential water damage and blockages.
Repair the Sealant Around Your Home
You can prevent window and door leaks by using caulk to seal any cracks or gaps, which is an easy DIY task. Signs of water leakage include mold spots, bubbled paint, crumbly drywall, or termite activity. To enhance protection, apply caulk on both sides of windows, use weather stripping for loose spots, and consider installing storm windows to improve energy efficiency and keep water out during harsh weather conditions.
Maintain and Clear Gutters and Downspouts
Regularly clean your gutters every few months to prevent blockages, which can lead to damage to your gutters, roof, and foundation. Clogged gutters may divert water down your house’s side, potentially causing harm. Also, during winter, quickly remove ice dams as they form to avoid further issues.
Put Gutter Guards in Place
Install gutter guards to prevent clogging and ensure water drains away from your home instead of pooling near the foundation. They’re particularly useful in preventing leaves, nests, and branches from blocking gutters. If your gutters frequently clog, these guards are a valuable solution which reduce the need for frequent cleaning. If your gutters are hard to reach, consider hiring a professional for inspection and maintenance.
When you Need Water Damage Repair Services
Water damage can strike at any time, and it’s crucial to know when to seek professional water damage repair services. One common situation where you should consider calling in professionals is during major flooding. Whether it’s caused by natural disasters, broken pipes, or sewer backups, significant flooding can cause extensive damage. That’s where services like SS Water Restoration Services come in. They have the expertise and equipment to remove excess water, sanitize affected areas, and restore your property to its pre-damage condition.
Sometimes, water damage isn’t immediately visible, and hidden leaks can be particularly insidious. These leaks can occur within walls, ceilings, or under floors, leading to structural damage and mold growth. If you notice unusual water stains, musty odors, or peeling paint, it’s essential to address these signs promptly. SS Water Restoration Services can help by using advanced moisture detection tools to locate hidden leaks and take corrective action, preventing further damage and mold growth.
Another critical situation is when water damage has led to mold growth. Mold can pose health risks and cause additional harm to your property. At SS Water Restoration Services, our professionals are skilled in mold remediation. They ensure a thorough and safe removal process, protecting your health and preventing the spread of mold.
Lastly, if you experience sewer backups, it’s a serious issue that requires professional attention. Sewer backups can lead to contaminated water entering your home, posing both health and property damage risks. At SS Water Restoration Services, we can handle this situation safely, ensuring proper cleanup and disinfection to make your home habitable again. In these and other water damage scenarios, seeking professional services offered by SS Water Restoration can save you time, money, and the hassle of dealing with extensive damage on your own.
safeguarding your home from water damage is a crucial aspect of responsible homeownership. By taking proactive steps like maintaining your roof, gutters, and downspouts, ensuring proper grading around your property, and investing in a sump pump system, you can significantly reduce the risk of water infiltrating your home. However, in the event that water damage does occur, it is essential to act promptly and effectively to rectify basement water damage. Timely action can prevent further structural deterioration and potential health hazards, ensuring a safe and dry living environment.