Playing Defense: 9 Tips to Protect Your Home from Water Damage

Water damage is one of those home repair issues that can start small but become far worse over time. Here’s how to keep it out of your home in the first place.

Water damage is one of the most common and expensive insurance claims. It may only be a matter of time before it strikes your home, but you don’t have to be a sitting duck. There are things you can do to protect your home and prevent these things from happening in the first place.

Let’s look at nine ways you can prevent water damage, keeping your home safe and dry.

1. Inspect Your Roof

Leaky roofs are often the culprit behind unseen water damage. They start small and can quickly become an expensive problem. Slow roof leaks are especially prone to causing major damage long before you realize it’s there. They cause rot and mold due to keeping attic insulation wet. And that only spreads over time.

Have your roof inspected and repair cracked, damaged or missing shingles as soon as possible. If your roof is near the end of its lifespan, consider replacing it. 

2. Keep Gutters and Downspouts Clear

Leaves, sticks, and debris can build up in your guttering system. If they block proper water flow, that water can pool and create roof leaks. Clean out your gutters at least twice a year. Make sure they don’t have any leaks and the water drains properly. You can install gutter guards to keep any future debris out.

While you’re at it, clean out the downspouts. The water should be funneled away from your home. Downspout extensions can help ensure it drains from your property in the right direction and doesn’t puddle around your foundation. 

3. Check Your Water Bill

Since water leaks can go a long time before they’re detected, watch your monthly water bill. It could be the first clue that’s there’s an issue. Has your water bill amount jumped significantly since last month for no obvious reason? It could mean you have a hidden leak.

Check your home’s attic and crawlspace. Look under the sinks and in the bathroom. Make sure your faucets don’t have a slow drip. If you don’t find an obvious cause, you may want to call a professional to have a look.

4. Know Your Water Main Location

If you have a hose break or a pipe burst, large amounts of water can come rushing into your home. And that’s not the time to wonder where your home’s main water shut-off valve is. Save yourself the panic. Always know where the shut-off valve location is in your home. Make sure each member of your family knows where it’s at as well. That way, you can quickly get the water shut off and save your home from major water damage in case something happens. It’s also a good idea to keep the water turned off if you’re away from home for a long period of time, just in case.

5. Guard Your Foundation and Basement

Do you have a damp and musty basement? It means water is finding its way in through cracks in the foundation or floor slabs.

Reseal your basement with a waterproof sealant. Painting it onto your basement walls and floor will help keep out any water seepage. Make sure the ground around your home’s foundation is properly graded. You want it to slope away from your house to ensure water runs away from your basement and can’t pool around the foundation. You may want to consider having a sump pump installed if you continue to have groundwater seep in.

6. Inspect Appliances and Hoses

Washing machines, dishwashers, and other appliances that use water are all common causes of water damage. That’s why you should regularly inspect them to make sure everything is in working order.

Check the appliance hoses. If they’re old, damaged, or cracked, replace them. Brittle or broken hoses are a major cause of leaks. Also, periodically pull appliances away from the walls and inspect the area around it. Look for signs of leaks and quickly repair any damage you find.

7. Install a Pressure Release Valve

Too much water pressure causes stress on pipes and hoses. That stress can lead pipes and hoses to fail over time, sending water straight into your home. Have your pressure measured by a professional. Most residential systems are able to handle water pressure from around 40 to 70 psi. Anything more than that, especially over 100 psi, can cause damage.

Water pressure can also increase if there’s any freezing of water in your pipes. Installing an emergency pressure release valve will ensure that your pipes and hoses are safe, no matter where the pressure increase comes from.

8. Repair Seals and Caulking

Sometimes, protecting your home from water damage is as simple as using a caulking gun.

Inspect your bathrooms and kitchen. Make sure the seals around your sinks, toilets, showers, and bathtubs are in working order. If not, reseal any cracked or missing caulking. Do the same around exterior doors and windows. It’s amazing how easily rain and snow can find even the smallest opening and create water damage in your home.

9. Install Water Detection Devices

In the battle of finding hidden water leaks, water detection devices can be your best friend. These gadgets have a built-in alarm that will let you know whenever its sensor contacts moisture. You can install these near water heaters, appliances, sump pumps, and toilets.

Save Your Home from Water Damage

When it comes to water damage, go on the defense. These tips will help prevent damage from causing costly repairs and headaches.

Have more questions about how to prevent water damage? Or need someone to help you clean up after water or mold found its way into your house? Contact us today or call 877-730-1948 if you’re dealing with an emergency.