Water Damage Prevention
Inside and Out: Water Damage Prevention
Building materials and water do not mix. Subflooring, insulation, wood studs, and plywood sheathing can all degrade, rot, and develop mold when they are saturated with water. In most situations, this water damage is hidden from sight between walls and under floors.
There are cases when water damage comes from heavy rain, but the unfortunate reality is that damage can be caused by ordinary household appliances that fail. These include air conditioning condensation drains, failed water heaters and washing machine hoses, and plumbing.
Inside the Home:
There are simple steps that you can take to help prevent water damage from appliances and protect your home.
Check your appliances regularly. Look for breakage, crimping and bending of hoses and plumbing fittings.
2. Main Water Supply
Familiarize yourself with where the main water supply shut-off is located in your home. If you are away from home for an extended period, shut off your water supply and drain the pipes.
3. Air Conditioner
Consider having your air conditioner inspected by a professional regularly. Check drain lines annually and clean them if clogged.
4. Inspect for Leaks or Corrosion
Inspect water heaters, showers, tubs, toilets, sinks, and dishwashers annually for signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, install your water heater in areas with a floor drain to minimize damage in the event of a leak. Check the caulking around your shower, bathtub, sink, and toilet bases, and make repairs if needed.
If your refrigerator has an ice machine or water dispenser, the hose between the wall and refrigerator should be made of braided copper, which has better resistance to cracking and corrosion.
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Outside the Home:
Some regular maintenance of key areas on your property can prevent water from making its way into your home.
1. Disconnect Hoses
Disconnecting hoses from outdoor faucets in the fall. Standing water in a hose can freeze back into the pipe, creating an ice block that stops your water flow. This potentially can bust your pipes and create damage to walls, floors, and foundations.
2. Outdoor Faucets
Always make sure your outdoor faucets are turned off tightly and be sure to drain any residual water from the faucet and pipe.
3. Gutters and Downspouts
Clean your gutters in the fall to avoid blockage and ice dams. Standing water can cause damage to not only your gutters but the roof itself. Cleaning downspouts also allows water to flow through and away from the home.
4. Shrubs & Trees
Shrubs and trees are beautiful to have in your yard, except when their roots wrap around your pipes and cause damage. That’s why it is important to minimize landscaping near utility pipes and if necessary, remove them if they become too big.
5. Drainage is Key
Water collecting around the foundation of your home is an invitation for it to enter. Ensure that the ground around your house slopes in the right direction, so that water flows away from the foundations of your home, toward the street or the furthest part of your yard.