Every homeowner needs to be aware of water damage. Experts indicate that in the United States, 14,000 people will have an urgent water damage situation to deal with at their home or workplace every day. Water damage can occur at any time of the year, and it can cause serious problems such as mold, mildew, termites, and damage to your home’s structure. In order to prevent leaks and damage from water, make up a schedule that includes an annual checkup of the following items.
Do a Sump Pump Check
Test your sump pump once a year to make sure it’s operating effectively. Pour into the sump pit an amount of water that’s sufficient to activate the pump. Listen carefully for unusual sounds. If you hear the regular noises of the sump pump’s operation, that means it’s working correctly. You should think about using a battery backup to keep your pump operating during a power outage.
Check Your Supply Lines for Leaks
Ice makers in refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers connect to their source of water via supply line hoses that are often made of inexpensive plastic. These hoses may create leaks by cracking or kinking. Examine them once a year for leaks or wear and tear. You can save money on water damage restoration services and get peace of mind by switching plastic hoses with stainless steel replacements, for $30 or less.
Look for Leaks in Your Pipes and Water Heater
It’s not possible to check every pipe in your home, but you can and should examine exposed pipes on a regular basis. In addition, you should look for discoloration on the areas of walls and ceilings that you know cover pipes, as this is a sign of a leak. Other indications of leaks include water stains, dank smells, and dampness. You can better see problems if you wipe down pipe connections using a dry tissue.
You should also look for cracks or external rust on your water heater. These are signs of weak spots or leaks and should be dealt with immediately. Leaks in water heaters can burst without warning, flooding your home with hundreds of gallons of water.
Make Sure Gutters and Drainpipes Are Clear
Obstructions in drainpipes and gutters let water accumulate over time under the roof or around your foundation. Leaves and other debris should be cleared away semiannually to prevent water damage. If water is dripping over the side of the gutter or out of a joint or seam, this is an indication that you have obstructions in your drainpipes or gutters. In addition, you should make sure that water is coming freely through the bottom of your drainpipes; if it’s not, you probably have clogs in the pipes. Drainpipes should deposit water no fewer than five feet from your home. You may need drainpipe extensions if the water is coming within five feet of the building, or you may opt to have a contractor put in more drainage.
Check Your Roof
When you clear your gutters, that’s a good time to check your roof and see if any shingles are loose, damaged, or missing. You’ll need to hire a professional roofer as soon as possible to fix the problem, since damaged or missing shingles may let rainwater leak into your home.
In addition to annual and semiannual checks, you should take care of the following items prior to leaving on a summer trip, to prevent water damage while you’re away:
- Turn your water main off, if you don’t have a neighbor or family member coming to keep an eye on your house while you’re away. Once the water main is turned off, you’ll need to run every indoor and outdoor faucet to drain any remaining water. This prevents water pressure from building and causing leaks in damaged or weak places.
- Turn your water heater off, to save energy and to reduce the possibility of leaks.
- If possible, get a neighbor or friend to visit your home every few days if you plan to be gone for a week or more.
Water damage restoration can be costly and disruptive to your family’s routines. Fortunately, you can do a lot to help keep water from damaging your home, particularly while you’re away on a long vacation. Contact our team today for more tips on preventing water damage.