Top water damage prevention tips

Water damage due to floods in the home is widespread. It often requires extensive repair work and costly fixes. Let’s look at some of the causes of water damage in homes.

There are two leading causes of water damage in homes:

  • Natural causes
  • Water damage due to lack of maintenance

Natural Disasters

Natural occurrences like thunderstorms, floods, heavy rains, and tornadoes can wreak havoc on the house. They can cause flooding, structural damage, damage to the roof and walls, and many other issues.

Manmade Accidents

Plumbing issues are one of the prime causes of water damage in homes. There could be burst pipelines, improperly installed appliances, water heater problems, clogged drains, and toilets.

Often, small leaks in pipes become bigger and lead to pipe bursts in the future. Hence, you need to inspect the pipes timely and ensure they are fixed. Similarly, much of the damage can, fortunately, be avoided by timely repairs and minor fixes. However, if you avoid complete remediation work following a water damage situation, you could be left to deal with termites, mold, and damaged floorings.

Tips to prevent water damage

Water damage is the second most common insurance claim every year. A proactive approach and time locating the leaks and damages are essential to keep your homes and loved ones safe.

Here are some tips that can help:

Unclog the drains and sink

Keep your sinks and drains maintained and unclog them regularly. For example, the kitchen sink is especially prone to blockage due to an influx of grease and other items thrown down the lines. Over time the blockage causes severe damage to the sewerage lines and may cause issues like backups.

Even though DIY techniques like using drain cleaners and vinegar may help temporarily, the chemicals in these and the grime eat up the pipelines causing further damage and increasing the chances of emergency flooding in the house.

So, make sure to call in the plumbing experts for regular maintenance and upkeep of all the pipelines.

Check kitchen and laundry appliances

Kitchen appliances like dishwashers and other machines that draw water from the lines can also become the source of flooding. If the device is not installed correctly or has a problem with the water pipeline, it can cause severe flooding.

The same goes for washing machines. Make sure to replace and fix your hose regularly. If there’s any leakage, that will lead to water wastage. Leaks only get more significant with time. So if things are not in check, they could flood a whole house within minutes.

Other appliances to check include:

Refrigerators: If your refrigerator has a water dispenser or ice maker, check the water hose for leaks regularly.

Water heaters: Check your water heater for water pooling at the base and for any leakages, rust, or cracks.

Air conditioners: Ensure timely maintenance of your air conditioning unit. Look for leakages and other signs of water damage all around the unit.

Shut the main supply when leaving for vacations

Whenever you plan to leave your home for a few days, always make it a practice to turn off the main water supply. Minor leaks could become more extensive or even cause broken pipes quickly. So if you’re going away for days, always turn off the main supply. This practice ensures the house stays clean when you return.

Locate the water valves

Make sure you know where the water valves are located. In emergencies, the first thing to do is turn off the mains. So, make sure you and everyone in the house, including the kids, know where the main is.

Install leak detectors

These are small, affordable electronic devices you can install in the pipes to monitor any leakages. Some have special features like Wi-Fi, temperature sensors, and smart integration. You can install these in the basements, laundry room, water heater, and under sink cabinets, where leaks are more likely to develop.

The leak detectors can:

  • Monitor leaks or the presence of water
  • Turn off the main supply in case of emergencies
  • Monitor temperatures
  • Monitor water and moisture in the air

There are other devices, too, like the water flow monitoring system, pressure release valves, and pressure gauges that you can use at home to monitor things like the flow and pressure through the pipes. Any abnormalities in the normal flow will be notified so you can take the requisite steps to prevent water damage.

Check the sump pump

The sump pump is located in the basements and can act to prevent possible flooding. Make sure it’s intact and functioning so that in case of emergencies, it can avoid losses. The pumps raise the buoyant in case of flooding, which triggers the motor. That begins the water extraction machine, and it removes water from your basement.

However, the sump pump often turns off accidentally or in case of an issue with the electric wiring. So keep checking it, ensuring it’s turned on and upright. You can check by pouring some water onto the pit and see if it’s functioning.

Winterproof the pipes

Insulation is cheap and easy to present costly pipeline repairs, especially in the winter. Insulate all your exposed pipelines via snap-on insulation. Furthermore, you may take a few of these measures to keep your pipelines safe during winter:

  • Maintain a steady temperature of at least 10 degrees Celsius inside the home.
  • Keep the farthest faucet open a notch. This may lead to wastage, but it’ll keep the water flowing through the lines, and circulating water is less likely to freeze or cause pipe damage.
  • Drain the water hose and turn off the main supply when leaving home for vacations.
  • Keep the garage door closed through the winter.

As for the pipes passing through the cabinets under the sink and in the basements, keep the doors open so warm air can reach them.

In a nutshell, water damage is a significant threat to your property. While it’s more prevalent in the winter, water damage can occur throughout the year. While it may be inevitable sometimes, a proactive approach can help minimize the losses.

These simple techniques can help keep your home safe and prevent water damage throughout the year.