Water can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Whether big or small, experiencing water damage is always inconvenient. Damages can be greatly avoided with prevention and maintenance. Take a look at our 5 tips to get you started.
Repair Leaks Immediately
- Leaks should never be ignored. Check for leaks frequently and get professional help if you’re having trouble identifying or fixing a leak on your own. Places checked should include under and around sinks, toilets, water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines. Also check that seals are in good condition around windows and doors. Basements and attics will also need to be assessed for signs of damage from leaks.
- Signs of a leak may include warped flooring, or any kind of discoloration on walls or cabinets. If there is a leak in the wall pipes you may notice staining, bubbling, musty smells, or excess moisture.
- When checking for leaks also check pipes and hoses for any signs of cracks, rust, or corrosion.
- Remember to check and repair outside taps and hoses too. Look for any signs of wet spots or puddles in or around your yard that shouldn’t be there. Pay attention to any signs of water flow that seem abnormal around your home’s driveway, curb, or street.
- Do an annual check of your roof. Always be safe and hire a professional if you are uncomfortable or if it is unsafe. Look for rust spots, holes, and gaps in flashing around skylights, pipes, and chimneys. Check for signs of damage including cracked, buckled, or missing shingles. If shingles are damaged or missing, they should be replaced immediately.
- Leaks from damaged hose lines are one of the biggest culprits for water damage. When checking for leaks in and around sinks, hoses should also be checked for any signs of damage including cracks and bulges.
- Hoses should be replaced every 3 to 5 years. Replace all rubber hoses with steel braided lines. They are much sturdier, last longer, and carry less risk of breakage.
- Don’t forget to check hoses in the laundry room. This is a common place for water damage because hoses are always running.
Watch Your Toilet
- Use only septic safe toilet paper if you have a septic system.
- Only flush toilet paper down the toilet. Avoid flushing items like sanitary napkins and diapers. Keep a watchful eye out for children around toilets.
- Check for low water levels on your toilet. This could be a sign of a crack in the bowl or a clog.
- Regularly check the toilet for any signs of cracks. Also check caulking to ensure seals are in good condition.
- Always be on the lookout around the outer edge of the toilet for excess water, a moist, spongy floor, or if stains appear around the base.
- Flooring that is cracked, broken, or missing tiles needs to be repaired. The floor is a common area for water to seep into, potentially causing damage to floors and walls.
Turn Off the Water
- If you are leaving your home for an extended period of time, turn off your home’s main water supply. Do this by closing the valve on the main supply line. It is usually located in the basement, garage, or outside near the foundation. Test to be sure it is shut off by running a faucet before you leave. If you still need water supply to an outside hose or an automatic sprinkler system, then you can shut off valves to specific places in your home. These may include ice makers, dishwashers, and washing machines. The individual shut off valves are typically found near the supply line leading to most appliances, toilets, and faucets. Look for an oval handle and turn clockwise to shut off.
Turn on the Fan
- Always use the bathroom exhaust fan or open a window when the shower is in use. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes following the bath or shower. Too much moisture can cause mold and mildew. Fans and circulating air will pull moisture out of the air and away from your walls.
- If your laundry room has an exhaust fan it should also be used.
Most water damage prevention can be taken care of quickly and easily. Taking the time now to do checks and make needed repairs can save you from the inconvenience and cost of possible water damage.
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