Water damage happens inexplicably at times but in some cases, it occurs because the pipelines or the water system is not functioning well. To avoid experiencing water damage, you should make sure that you have done your best to keep your home well maintained.
The good news here is that preventive measures can easily be applied to avoid water damage at home. You will have to be a bit more vigilant but the pay off for you is huge. The following are some of the best tips that you should follow to avoid water damage at home.
1. Keep Gutters and Spouts Clean
Not all water damage relates to flooding of the basement. Sometimes, water can collect on the roof or near the garage because of clogged gutters and spouts. This increases the chances of structural damage to your home. Water on the roof makes it more likely for a roof leak to occur. In some cases, the roof frame can also become rotted, increasing the chances of make the roof collapse.
Water near the garage has a good chance of seeping into the foundation of the house. This can cause cracks in the foundation that worsen over time. With a clean spout and gutters, you can ensure that all the rainwater is being drained off properly. Debris like leaves, twigs or even bird nests can clog up spouts and gutters. Since these are organic, they also increase the chances of mold when they start to rot.
2. Be Mindful of Planting near the House
Whether gardening is a hobby or you’re just tired of a bare backyard, be mindful of where you are planting and what kind of plant you are getting. Some plants can be great when they’re small but as they grow older, their root system can start to wreak havoc. Roots absorb nutrients and water from the soil but in some cases, they might look for the nearest source of water.
Plants like weeping willows have very invasive roots that can grow up to and clog your pipelines, drainage system, sprinkler systems and even septic tanks. Before you plant anything, it’s a good idea to consider the layout of the water pipelines. Keeping the plant’s roots as far away from the pipes as possible is a good idea since repairs to this problem can be costly.
3. Keep Your Lawn Well Maintained
During drought season or when the weather is too dry, make sure to water your lawn properly so that it stays in good condition. When the lawn stays dry for too long, the soil starts to shrink and contract. This ends up creating gaps between the lawn and your home. Your house will be more likely to collect water in the gaps. This water won’t always be reabsorbed by the soil so it increases the likelihood of water damage.
Additionally, make sure that the lawn is at a slope of 10 inches, away from your house. This natural slope ensures that water doesn’t collect along the sides of your house. If it does, you have a higher chance of the water seeping down to the foundation. Even if it doesn’t seep down to the foundation, it can cause water damage on the sides of the house. In many cases, it causes warping of the patio and could make extensive repairs a necessity.
4. Be Aware of the Water System Inside
It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the water system in your house. This means that you know where the main switch is, can turn it on or off and generally monitor how the pipelines perform. Being aware of this is also ideal for when you are dealing with a burst pipe.
Instead of having water pouring out until professional help arrives, you can turn it off and reduce the water damage. You should be aware of this, particularly if you are moving into a new home. With an unfamiliar house, it can be difficult to handle a burst pipe and the water damage it causes if you don’t know where the main water system is.
5. Pay Attention to Appliance Performance
Keep an eye on the performance of your home appliances that are water dependent, such as the dishwasher or the washing machine. Malfunctions can happen and dishwashers, in particular, tend to dump the water they have out on the kitchen floor. This can increase the chances of water damage, even if you completely mop up the water.
If it happens too frequently, there can be certain areas in your kitchen that can begin to grow mold. Additionally, always clean out your dishwasher and washing machine. Their systems can get clogged with the lint and dishwashers can get grease and food particles in them. This lowers their performance and improves chances of leaks, minor floods and water wastage.
6. Check all Leaks Immediately
Never ignore a leak in your home, whether it happens on the roof, in the pipelines, in the basement or more. Many flooding incidents at home or burst pipes start out as a small leak. Left on its own, the issue does not go away. Instead, it gets worse until water damage is inevitable. If you see a leak, try to identify the source and get it repaired as soon as possible.
Early repairs and maintenance can play a major role in the prevention of water damage in your home. Additionally, it can also point to a bigger problem. If the pipes are clogged, they might leak before they burst. Getting the leak checked will help you see that the pipes need to be unclogged. This saves you from the high cost and the inconvenience of having to deal with a burst pipe.
7. Keep an Eye on the Water Pressure
Sometimes, strong water pressure can also contribute to increased flooding and burst pipes. Many residential pipes are not designed to bear strong water pressure. You might not need to do this frequently but even once or twice can allow you to spot if your water pressure is abnormal. Your pipelines are also more likely to spring a leak due to this.
Checking the water pressure is easily done. All you need is a water pressure gauge that you can attach to a faucet, preferably outdoors. Once you do this, turn the faucet on full and let the gauge get a reading. A healthy water pressure for residential homes comes up to 40 psi to 70 psi. If you’re getting water pressure that reads up to 100 psi or above, you will have to get a water pressure regulator.
8. Pay Attention to Your Water Bills
Sometimes, leaks can happen in parts of your home that aren’t always visible or accessible to you. However, a good way to catch water wastage through undetected leaks is through your water bills. The bills can highlight your water consumption. Compare bills from a few months ago to the recent ones. If you’re seeing a significant increase in your water usage, the culprit could be a leak.
A mystery water leak is a huge problem since it can cause a lot of water damage undetected. Additionally, it could also cause the growth of mold or make the drywall weak and rot. To fix the problem, you’ll have to get a bit creative and search for the leak under the patio, in the crawl space or other areas that you don’t frequent. Getting the professionals to come and examine the pipelines in your home is also a good idea.
9. Avoid Pouring Chemicals to Unclog Drains
One of the easiest ways to unclog drains at home is with the help of chemicals. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best solution. It might be a quick fix for the drain but these chemicals are usually too strong. If used improperly and without properly diluting them, you can damage your pipelines. The caustic nature of the chemicals means that they can start to eat away at the material of the pipes.
Relying on the use of chemicals for drain clogs sets you up for a lot of future leaks and damaged pipes. Additionally, these chemical cleaners are also particularly harmful to you. Many people end up with chemical burns, inhalation burns or more because they use them in closed spaces like their kitchen or bathroom.
Work with the Right Professionals
While these tips can reduce the chances of water damage, that isn’t always the case. Despite your best efforts, water damage can occur. In such cases, it is always a good idea to work with professionals. DIY-ing a solution can lead to increased damage and make the repairs more costly. Get things done right with the help of water damage professionals who can not only resolve the problem quickly but also help with mold detection and prevention.