9 Ways To Avoid Water Damage
You may be surprised to know that water damage is one of the most common – and costly damages to homeowners.
Throughout the United States water damage is the second most costly event, preceded by wind and hail damage. You may experience hail or severe winds a few times a year, water damage is a year-round risk.
The great news is that there are ways to protect yourself from costly water losses. We have nine simple steps to help keep your home safe and well-maintained and most importantly to reduce your risk of water damage.
Outside your home
- Disconnect hoses
The first thing on your fall-to-do list should be to disconnect your hoses from the faucet. Standing water in your hoses can freeze back into the pipe and create an ice block that stops the water flow and may bust the pipes to create damage to walls, floor and foundation.
- Keep gutters and downspouts clean
At least twice a year you should clean your gutters to avoid blockage and ice dams. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof and unmanaged overflow can create puddles that can damage your foundation. Always be sure to clean any downspouts to ensure water can flow through secure all downspouts to ensure that they point away from your foundation.
- Maintain vegetation and trees
Growing shrubs can be a great addition to the beauty of your home – except when their roots wrap around your pipes and break them. Be sure to minimize landscaping near your utility pipes or if necessary, remove trees and shrubs that have become too large.
Inside your home
Now that we gone over a few simple steps for outside your home, let’s look at how to keep the risk from water damage from sources inside your house.
- Know where your main water valve is
Most plumbing experts will tell you that the main water shutoff valve may be the most important plumbing feature in your entire home. That’s because your main water valve supplies water to your entire home. Water enters your home through the main water valve and is then distributed to other pipes throughout your home.
If you ever experience a plumbing emergency inside your home, knowing where your main water valve is located will make it easier to turn off your water right away, and most likely minimize any further damages.
It is also recommended that you shut off your main water valve if you leave your home for an extended period. Chances are if no water is going into the home, no damages will occur.
- Appliance Maintenance
The most common cause of in-home water damages are your appliances. Be sure to check and maintain your appliances regularly for leaks according to the manufacturer’s manual.
It is recommended that you pay close special attention to your washing machine and refrigerator hoses. These tend to become old within about five years of install and they tend to become brittle and often become leaky as well, and these are the most frequent and common cause of water damage to most homes. Replace yours regularly to avoid a HUGE mess and costly damages.
- Investigate and fix leaks ASAP
If you see evidence of a leak anywhere in your home, investigate it ASAP. If you choose to ignore moisture or postpone making proper repairs, be prepared to smell mold, mildew and experience dry rot, or even structural damage to your home.
Most homeowner’s insurance only covers sudden and accidental damages. If the damage results from lack of maintenance, it may not be covered on your standard homeowner’s policy.
- Install multiple water detection devices
A water detector is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm if the sensor comes in contact with moisture. The main benefit is that it can detect low moisture levels or slow leaks that can often go unnoticed. You can install this device near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers, and toilets. If there is a pipe that has water coming out of it, you can put one there to prevent extensive damage and mold growth.
- Check the water pressure into your home
If the water pressure in your home is set too high, your pipes and hoses could fail under the pressure.
Typically, the residential water systems are designed for water pressure of 40 – 70 psi. If your home’s water pressure goes over 100 psi, you need to install a pressure regulator (available at most hardware stores.)
- Keep an eye on your water bill
Frequently, the only way to know that there is a water leak taking place, is a closer look at your water bill. Your usage could jump sky high from the previous month’s bill without explanation, be sure to investigate. There could be a leak in your crawlspace or a pipe in your front or back yard.
Best practice is not to leave a mystery leak unattended. If you do find a leak that has caused water damage to your home. Give SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork a call and we can help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will make it "Like it never even happened."