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How Can I Prevent Water Damage to My Home?

Posted on November 21, 2018

Water damage can be very expensive to repair. You may have to rip out walls, floorboards or the ceiling to get to the source of the problem. It also weakens your home’s foundation. This can result in thousands of dollars worth of damage. Preventing water damage through routine maintenance can avoid these expense repairs and alert you to potential problems. Here are six tips to prevent water damage.

Clean Your Gutters

Clean your gutters seasonally to avoid blockage caused by leaves or other debris. Clogged gutters can cause water not to be able to drain properly, eventually resulting in a cascade of water running down the side of your home, which can damage your foundation. Clogged gutters also cause damage to your roof and gutters. Remove any birds’ nests, sticks, leaves and other debris. While you are at it, make sure the downspouts direct water at least 10 feet away from your home.

Take Care of Your Drains

A critical way to prevent water damage is to make sure that your drains are taken care of. Clogs can cause water to buildup and damage your home. They can also cause your pipes to potentially burst. Maintenance is a key. Do not pour grease down your sink because it can cling to your pipes, causing blockage and damage. Place the grease in an empty can and dispose it when it hardens. Also, avoid using harsh chemicals to unclog drains. These caustic chemicals can damage your pipes and eventually result in leaks. Use a drain snake as an effective alternative.

Check for Leaks

Periodically check for leaks around your home. Dark spots under pipes inside sink cabinets are indicative of a water leak. Stains on the ceiling are another key indicator. Drips and toilets that rock can also help pinpoint problem spots in your home. Also, check your roof at least once a year to find missing shingles or roof material. Repair cracked caulking and inspect flashing for any leaks.

Promptly Fix Water Leaks

A buildup of water can cause mold, mildew, dry rot and sometimes structural damage. Leaks can also attract carpenter ants and termites. Once you locate a leak, immediately fix it.

Monitor Your Water Bill

Sometimes you will not be aware of a leak until you see a sudden increase in your water bill. If your usage jumps between months without any other reasonable explanation, you may have a leak that you are not aware of. Ask a professional to inspect your home for possible water leaks.

Install Water Detection Devices

A water detection device sounds an alarm when its sensor comes in contact with moisture. This device pays for itself because it alerts you to low moisture levels or slow leaks that you may not notice otherwise. This allows you to intervene quickly before expensive damage occurs. Place these devices near sources of water in your home, including water heaters and sump pumps. You can also install them by appliances like washing machines and dishwashers.

Seal and Repair Cracks in Stucco

Cracked stucco can create an entry point for water. Check around your home for any cracks and seal or repair them before the next storm.

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