Water damage is one of the most common issues that homeowners grapple with. And while it may not seem that alarming, it only takes one leaky pipe to ruin your belongings and cause costly damage to your home.
Luckily, water damage is not irrevocable. If you’ve spotted signs of water damage, you can count on water damage restoration experts to address the problems and bring your home back to its pre-damaged state.
Otherwise, you can prevent water damage by simply taking active and conscious measures to protect your home against it. Here are a few easy ways to start.
Ensure proper drainage
Poor drainage is one of the leading causes of water damage. When water is not properly drained away from the property, especially after a torrential downpour, it can pool and seep through certain areas and may weaken the structure and foundation of your home. If you want to avoid costly home repairs in the future, it’s paramount that you check your drainage systems and ensure that they’re working as intended.
Clean gutters and downspouts
Gutters are prone to clogging due to fallen leaves, seeds, and other debris. When this happens, water can cascade and damage both the siding and the foundation of your house. To prevent this from happening, make a habit of cleaning your gutter regularly.
Homeowners with plenty of trees around their property find themselves cleaning up their gutters all the time. If you’re tired of checking and picking out leaves from your gutters every few days, consider installing gutter guards so you won’t have to worry about debris clogging the drain and obstructing the water flow anymore.
Also, don’t forget to routinely check your downspouts to make sure that water can flow through and away from your house.
Perform regular roof inspections
Your roof is perhaps the most beat-up part of your home. And as your first line of defense against the elements, it can show signs of wear and tear that you won’t know unless someone goes up there and checks.
If you have one of those serviceable roofs, you can go up there every few months to check for any damage on the tiles or shingles. Having professional roof maintenance at least once a year is also vital to ensuring the cleanliness and condition of your roofing system.
The smallest hole in your roof, if left unnoticed, can lead to bigger and more expensive damages to your home. Aside from unsightly roof stains on walls and ceiling, a leaky roof can damage your attic and cause mold infestation.
Check your attic and reseal your basement
Most homeowners rarely set foot on their attics, leaving them unaware of any signs of water damage in this particular part of the house until it’s too late. Water can pool in your attic and eventually weaken the structure. If there’s too much water up there, your ceiling might not be able to handle the stress anymore and eventually collapse.
Also, water damage in the attic is one of the primary causes of mold growth in the home. Every homeowner must spare some time for attic inspection. Fail to do so, and you might find yourself in the middle of water damage and health hazard problem.
Just as damaging as water on the attic is water in the basement, which can cause cracks in the floor and the foundation of the building. If you’ve noticed water seepage through your “waterproof ” basement walls and cement floors, paint the cracks and affected areas with a water sealant to prevent further water damage.
Caulk and seal doors and windows
Something as easy as sealing your doors and caulking your windows can help protect your home from water damage. And it’s not just doors and windows that you can or should seal; you can also apply caulking to drains, faucets, bathtubs, and plumbing fixtures around your home to prevent water from getting into areas where it’s not wanted.
Practice routine pipe and water heater maintenance
Water heaters can hold up anywhere between 50 to 80 liters of water, which means they can potentially flood your home if they spring a leak.
Homeowners are advised to partially drain their water heaters at least twice a year to prevent sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank, which causes erosion and rust. While you’re at it, make sure to keep an eye out for any leaks on the container.
It’s also a good idea to perform an annual inspection of all the pipes around your property. Pipes corrode, rust, and decay over time.
Install a sump pump
Sump pumps are your first line of defense in case of basement flooding. These devices pump water away from your home and into a dry well or storm drain.
If you already have a sump pump, it’s also essential to check and clean it for clogs and damages. You can ask an expert to inspect it for you if you don’t know how to do it yourself.
Prevention is Key
Even if you do not spot any issues on your roof, pipes, and HVAC system, annual professional maintenance will give you peace of mind.
Early detection prevents existing problems from getting worse, and could possibly save you from more extensive – and expensive – damages.
Rachel Anderson is the Content Marketing Strategist of Arizona Fire & Water Restoration, Inc., a Phoenix-based company that provides water, fire and smoke damage restoration as well as mold remediation and removal services. When not writing, she plays bowling and goes on trail hikes with her friends.