Last Updated on December 31, 2020
Water damage is the nightmare of any homeowner and property manager. These types of problems can imply enormous losses in material assets and a considerable investment in repair works if there is a serious structural problem that is difficult to solve.
Water damage is one of the most common homeowner claims, only behind wind and hail damage. But in most countries, only a very small part of water damage cases are caused by natural disasters such as floods or hurricanes. This means that the vast majority of them are preventable and could be easily avoided with simple and affordable minor fixes.
This article will share a series of tips that will hopefully help you prevent water damage in your house and save you from some serious trouble.
Table of Contents
1. Install a water leak detector
A water leak detection system is designed to identify minor leaks so that you can get them fixed before it’s too late. These devices are small and easy to install. They are also very cheap if you don’t need a system that automatically shuts off water to your home as soon as it detects a leak. Those usually cost around 0, but they may save you a lot of money in repairs and provide additional features like water pressure and temperature information and water usage statistics.
For most people, installing sensors in the kitchen and laundry room that send you an alert to your smartphone or sets off an alarm as soon as there’s a leak is probably enough to find water damage in the house promptly.
2. Know where your water main shutoff is located
The “water main” is the pipe that supplies your house with water. Through this pipe, water is delivered to your house to be distributed by your plumbing system to all the different rooms inside. The question is: do you know where the water main shutoff is located?
If you do, congratulations. You’ll probably be able to save your furniture, floor, and electronics if something really bad happens. You see, during a plumbing emergency, the first thing you should do is to turn off the water right as quickly as possible – and for that, you need to know how to access the water main shutoff.
3. Monitor the water pressure from time to time
When the water pressure is above recommended values, it puts a lot of pressure on pipes and hoses. Eventually, this pressure may lead to failures and water damage. That’s why you need to buy a water pressure gauge and use it to keep an eye on water pressure.
It’s easy, and it won’t take much of your time. Attach the water pressure gauge to an outside faucet, turn it on full force, and check the readings. If it is somewhere between 40 to 70 psi, you have nothing to worry about. However, if it is above 90, you should consider buying and installing a pressure regulator to avoid potential damages (you can buy a pressure regulator at any hardware store).
4. Household appliances maintenance
Unlike what most people seem to think, household appliances need basic maintenance every once in a while. Otherwise, they may become leaky and cause major problems, which can be quite expensive to fix.
Most in-home water damage cases are caused by appliance malfunction, usually due to problems with the washing machine and refrigerator hoses. So make yourself a favor and check those hoses every year and replace them as soon as they become old and brittle.
5. Don’t just ignore a high water bill
If your last month’s water bill was much higher than it usually is and your water usage was the same as always, don’t just ignore it. This can be an important warning that there may be a water leak somewhere that needs to be repaired. Inspect your pipework and try to understand where the problem is. If everything looks normal to you, it’s probably best to call an expert to make sure there are no major problems whatsoever.
6. Take some action outside your home
Problems that occur on the exterior of your house can cause wtaer damage. So you’ll have to do some work there to prevent them. Here are a few key things to be aware of:
Prevent blockage and ice dams: it’s important to check your gutters now and then and clean them if needed. This will prevent blockage and potential foundation damage!
Be careful with trees and vegetation: trees, bushes, and other vegetation are important to improve your exterior drainage system since their roots absorb rainwater, which helps prevent flooding. However, you should be careful because there’s a chance this complex root system may grow to the wrong side and damage your water pipes.
Check your roof or attic for damage: how many times have you climbed on your roof to check the condition of your tiles? Most likely never. Damaged tiles or cracks can quickly cause a serious case of water damage. If you don’t want to climb on your roof, you can go to your attic and inspect carefully to see any leaks. If there are, fix them as quickly as possible – and make sure all the other tiles are in good condition.
If you have a problem that requires deep water damage repair or restoration, don’t try to fix it yourself if you don’t have any previous experience in that area of expertise. Even though you might be able to fix the problem, you might end up making some mistakes that may endanger your water system and bring you even bigger problems in the future. Hire a skilled and experienced professional, even if that means paying a considerable sum of money.