Summertime is well on its way. While there is much fun to be had, it is also an important time of year to do some routine maintenance around your home. Taking care of these projects will be an important step in preventing water damage.
Watch Your Water Bill
- You should be monitoring your water bill monthly to check to for any abnormal rises and costs. A pattern of abnormal activity may indicate a hidden leak. If you do have a concern after watching your bills, then it is important to check into it and call a professional for assistance if needed.
- Keep in mind that summertime is the busiest time for water consumption. Home guests, lawns, gardens, and pools means a higher demand of the water supply. Anything out of your normal watering routine may mean a possible rise in your bill. So, consider these factors before panicking about a bill that is higher than normal.
Leak Repairs & Maintenance
- Leaks should never be ignored. It’s important to check for leaks frequently and get professional help if you’re having trouble identifying or fixing the leak on your own. Places checked should include under and around sinks, toilets, water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines.
- Signs of a leak may include warped flooring, or any kind of discoloration on walls or cabinets.
- When checking for leaks also, check pipes and hoses for any signs of cracks or rust. Replace any rubber hoses with steel braided lines for added protection against water damage.
- Windows and doors should also be checked to make sure seals are in good condition.
- On the exterior of the home, outside taps and hoses should be checked. Hoses with drips may need to be replaced. A broken tap may need a professional to fix if you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own. A broken sprinkler head or sprinkler malfunction can also cause more water loss than usual. 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.
- Routine maintenance should include clearing away leaves and other debris so that water is draining properly. Gutters should be checked for damages and repairs made where needed. Clear any clogs from the gutter’s downspout. Be sure that water is draining far enough away from your home and attach an extension or splash block if needed to divert water.
- If needed, replace your gutters. This is a relatively inexpensive home repair and will be well worth it to ensure your home is safe from possible structural damages due to water damage.
Shut Off Water When Away
- The best and perhaps easiest thing you can do to prevent potential water damage while you’re away is to shut off your home’s main water supply. You can do this by closing the valve on the main supply line. It is usually located in a home’s basement, garage, or outside near the foundation.
- Be sure to test to make 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.
- It’s always a good idea to have a friend or family member periodically checking in on your home while you’re away. Make sure they know where to locate the main water shut-off valve. Having the valve labeled with a tag or tape is a good idea so that anybody can find it easily.
Sump Pump Check
- If you have a basement, you’ll want to be sure your sump pump is in good working condition. You can test it out by filling it with water and running the pump. Listen for any strange noises from the motor and watch to make sure water is draining outside. Be sure there are no clogs in the outlet pipe. In case of a power outage, it’s a good idea to have a battery powered backup source ready.
Taking some time to do checks and repairs around your home is an important step in preventing water damage. A change in season is the perfect time to perform many of these tasks.
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