Preventing Water Damage to your Home
Water damage can be a disaster - to your home, and your health. We're sharing the steps you can take to prevent its havoc on your home. Get prepared here.
Water damage — also known as the last two words a homeowner wants to hear when it comes to their home. There's nothing worse than walking into a flooding or leaking house.
And, with 40% of homeowners saying they have experienced loss from water damage and billions of dollars in property losses recorded every year, water damage causes a significant amount of loss that could have had the chance to be prevented.
However, don't panic just yet! Did you know that 93% of water damage can be prevented?
There are many things homeowners you can do to prevent water damage. It's just a matter of knowing what to do.
By staying on top of leaks and taking the proper safety measures, we can defend ourselves from the stress and money loss caused by water damage to keep us happy and healthy.
Ready to take some notes? Here are the 5 precautionary measures you'll need to keep your home free from the dangers of water damage.
1. Stay on top of leaks
If you come across a leaking water source in your house, it should be tended to as soon as possible. Trust us when we say the effort it takes to fix a little leak outweighs the amount of money and loss you'll experience when the leak gets worse.
It's usually not a matter of how but when. Leaks don't just magically go away.
Nothing is worse than putting it off and experiencing the consequences of mold, mildew, rot and insect damage that could result.
Putting this off could also jeopardize your homeowner's insurance coverage. Did you know that most companies won't cover you if the leak could have been avoided and taken care of?
So, be sure to inspect the following things regularly to ensure you're not missing a leaking spot anywhere:
Anything connected to a water line
Look for any discolored or brown spots under or around these areas. These are indicators for leakage. Also look for any cracked walls or loose shingles on the roof. These should be fixed quickly and are usually grounds for leaks and water damage to follow.
Doing a routine checkup around these places that have leak potential will prevent any long-term damage. It might be a hassle but it'll pay off in the long-run.
2. Inspect water sources regularly
Making sure that your water sources are working properly is key to the prevention of water damage. When talking about "water sources," we mean your irrigation system, sump pump, hoses, etc.
If you use an irrigation system for your sprinklers, land and/or crops, you'll want to inspect it routinely to make sure it's in top-notch working condition. Experiencing damage with these systems can result in gallons of water loss and hefty prices.
A sump pump is usually located in the basement of your home and it's purpose is to remove any excess water that has built up due to a storm or flooding. Performing checkups on your pump every year and during storms will limit any water damage from building up.
If it's working properly, the water will float and then you will see the water level recede. Kind of like how a toilet works. The whole point of a sump pump is to do the job of getting rid of any water build-up.
If you're having problems with your pump working slowly or not working at all, it'll be a good idea to invest in a dehumidifier for your basement. These keep the flooding and humidity down to a minimum.
3. Keep the correct water pressure
Water pressure is the force at which water enters your pipes. I'm sure you've heard of people talking about the difference in water pressure when taking showers at different places. This is where you can notice the difference.
But, did you know that too high of a water pressure in your home could cause major water damage?
Household water pressure should flow between 35 and 80 psi (pounds per square inch) and you can check this number by purchasing a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store.
When using the water pressure gauge, turn off any appliances or machines that use the water supply and attach it to the outside faucet connected to your main water supply. This will give you a reading of where your pressure is at.
If the pressure put on your plumbing pipes is too high, it could result in leaks and even worse, pipe breakage. High water pressure puts a strain on your appliances, so it should be taken seriously.
And, good news — once you have this gauge setup, you will be able to check it regularly. Fluctuations in your water pressure aren't always obvious, so catching it before it can start to do damage can fix major problems!
4. Educate yourself on your water devices
Many homeowners don't take the time to educate themselves about water devices contained within their home until they experience water damage first-hand and have no other choice. Which is understandable, it's usually not the first thing we think about when buying a new home.
However, it's a great idea to learn about where your water main lives. Your water main is a pipe that usually lives underground that connects your household's main water supply to the source.
Knowing the location and the details around your water main is important because if it cracks, the water will continue to flow to the surface until it is fixed. Resulting in lots of flooding, and depending on where the pipe breaks, your house could be experiencing the side effects.
Water hoses are also something you should be knowledgeable about. Standing water left in hoses have the potential to turn into ice, leaving you with water blockage. In turn, this could create a pipe to burst if not taken care of.
Be sure to disconnect your water hoses when not in use. Especially during the winter time in a cold climate, where there is a greater chance for the water to freeze.
5. Clean gutters and downspouts consistently
The maintenance of your gutters and downspouts is crucial in taking control of water damage. These are the contraptions on the outside of your home that carry the rainwater from your roof to the ground.
You can imagine the problems that would arise when these aren't working properly — for example, spillage onto the siding of your house and the roof that could cause rotting.
Gutter maintenance: Make it a point to clean your gutters a couple times a year, especially if you are experiencing heavy rain and snow. Clean any loose debris that may cause blockage and that could prevent the flow of water to the ground.
Downspout maintenance: Make sure water is able to flow through your downspouts and they are pointed away from your home. The water should be going at least five-ten feet away from your house to keep the water flow as far away as possible.
Next time it rains or snows, you won't have to worry about water damage if your gutters and downspouts are routinely taken care of.
Don't let water damage get you down
As you can see, water damage comes in a variety of forms. And, it usually happens when you're least expecting it.
Actively monitoring your water pressure, ensuring proper water drainage, educating yourself on water supply systems, and checking and fixing water leaks are five easy ways to keep water damage from wreaking havoc on your homes.
With water damage being the second most popular insurance claim filed in the U.S., it's clearly something all homeowners struggle with. Let's bring this number down by pursuing prevention tactics to be happy and healthy in our homes.
If you are experiencing water damage issues in your household, contact SERVPRO of Winooski / Stowe. We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property from water damage.
We can help water complications from interrupting your life with our 24-hour emergency service!
SERVPRO of Winooski/ Stowe 802-655-7797.