Water damage is one of the usual culprits that lead to the weakening of your home’s foundation. As the core strength of your house, the foundation will eventually falter and result in significant structural damage over time. Areas with water damage are prone to mold and mildew, while damp wood serves as the ideal environment for termites and carpenter ants.
Although flooding in a home is a common occurrence, any water damage can be a costly endeavor. Severe weather elements such as flash floods and torrential rains from thunderstorms can cause flooding.
Other causes of flooding include plumbing problems, burst pipes, and appliances with damage. Early detection of water damage is crucial, and if one occurs, getting a reliable water damage restoration Salem Oregon service is the best move to make.
Here are some tips to help you prevent water damage to your home.
1. Examine The Appliances
One way to prevent water damage is to examine the appliances in your home for any potential leaks.
- Fridge. When your fridge has a built-in ice maker or water dispenser, carefully inspect the water line hose between the appliance and the wall.
- Heater. Conduct a yearly inspection of your water heater. Once you notice any minimal leaks, pooling of water, or areas with corrosion, it might be time to consider getting an upgrade with a tankless water heater or an on-demand model to reduce your monthly utility bill.
- Air Conditioning Unit. An air conditioning unit can also be a source for leaks or water damage in your home, especially if it’s constantly working during the summer season.
Don’t forget to check the attic since it’s the ideal environment for mold and humidity. Water can saturate the wood and allows mold growth which can also be a health hazard for your household.
2. Repair Water Leaks
Once you find any water leaks in your home, fix them right away, even if it’s a small one. Leaks are likely there if there are dark spots around the piping and on the ceiling.
You should also inspect the roof for water leaks. Once there are loose, missing, or damaged shingles, leaks are likely to occur over time.
3. Regular Inspection of Drains and Sinks
Make sure that all the sinks and drains in your home are functioning correctly. The best way to start is to avoid pouring cooking grease down the drain since the fat can solidify and cling to the pipes. Over time, it can cause significant damage or impede the flow of water.
If you’ve been utilizing chemical-based drain cleaners, it might be time to switch to other alternatives, such as using a drain snake. Although convenient, these cleaners can steadily erode the pipes and put them at risk for leaks over time.
4. Monitor The Sump Pump
The sump pump is usually in the basement and serves as the last defense during flooding. Once the water levels increase, the buoyant float triggers the connected motor, instigating the device to pump water out of your home. It’s best to test the sump pump more often during the thunderstorm season and at least once a year during the rainy seasons.
5. Install Leak Detectors
A helpful tool that can detect water or flooding in your home is a leak detector. The device works by triggering an alarm and it’s available in various sizes and shapes with different features, including temperature sensors, smart home integration, and Wi-Fi capabilities.
Today, you can find spot and area detectors. A spot detector requires moisture or exposure to water to trigger an alarm. The area detectors utilize sensor wires to detect flooding and have a broad coverage.
Additionally, there are also active and passive alarms. An active alarm usually integrates into the water system in which it can turn off the water supply. For a passive alarm, it should be placed next to flood-prone areas. An alarm sounds when the sensors are wet. Install leak detectors in the attic, basement, laundry room, water heater closet, bathroom, or areas near the water pipes.
Depending on the type of leak detector you’ll get, regularly check the batteries. The timely detection by the leak detectors can lessen the water damage to your home.
6. Determine The Location of The Water Shut-off Valves
During a flooding emergency, you should know the location of the water shut-off valves. It would be best if you use the shut-off valves once flooding occurs in your home. Make it a routine to inspect the valves every year to ensure that they’re functioning correctly.
7. Repair Caulking Around the House
The windows and doors are also entry points where water can enter your home. Once you notice a crack in a window or door, caulk the site. The indicative signs of water leaking into your home include bubbled paint, mold spots, the presence of termites, and crumbling plaster or drywall.
During heavy rain and wind, water can readily enter your home. The water can seep through window frames that have signs of damage, eventually infiltrating the surrounding drywall.
Deal with the damage by applying caulk on both sides of the window and utilize weather stripping to seal up any loose spots. Proper sealing of the windows and doors will prevent the water from entering your home. Additionally, timely repairs are necessary since leaks can significantly lower the efficiency of your home in the long run.
8. Clean The Gutters and Downspouts Regularly
Set a schedule once every few months to thoroughly clean the gutters and downspouts to prevent unwanted blockage. Once there’s standing water, it can damage the gutters and roof, while puddles can damage the foundation over time.
Once blockages are present in the gutters in your home, the water can leak down on the sides of your home. You can tackle the cleaning task yourself with the right tools or call in a professional. During the winter, make sure that you’ll clear out any formation of ice dams right away.
9. Clear The Downspouts and Decline the Soil
Once there’s a blockage in the downspouts in your home, water can’t flow freely away from your home. Make sure that you’ll direct the downspouts approximately 5-10 feet away from your home.
Don’t forget to slope your yard away from the foundation to prevent the pooling of water. You should move the soil around your home using a shovel and rake. The ground must ramp down away from the foundation and compress it to promote water movement instead of soaking through. Creating a downward slope away from your home will prevent water from building up on the foundation.
When water continuously pools in your home’s foundation, it can cause cracks to the foundation, wall leaning, and eventually leaks.
10. Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards work by preventing the blockage and allowing water to flow away from your home and not build up around the foundation. These channels are likely to end up with blockage in most homes due to branches, dead leaves, and other debris.
Once the gutters are subject to continuous blockage with debris, it’s best to install gutter guards as a preventive measure. When there are gutter guards in place, they prevent blockage and lessens the need to clean them constantly.
11. Turn Off the Water Main If Away
If you’re going to leave your home for a long vacation, make sure that you’ll turn off the water main as a preventive measure. When there’s a leak, even a minor one, it can result in significant water damage by the time you return. Switching off the water main while you’re away can prevent accidents due to an unattended water flow.
12. Install A Water Flow Monitoring System
A water flow monitoring system is responsible for measuring the water flow into your home. The device is directly affixed to the water main.
Once the water monitoring system detects that the flow of water isn’t consistent with your appliances’ usage, it can automatically cease the water flow. Today, some utilize ultrasonic technology to detect leaks and prevent significant water damage. Additionally, having this system in place can improve water efficiency and help lessen the utility bill.
13. Make Use of a Pressure Gauge to Assess the Water Pressure
You can lower the risk of water damage in your home by investing in a water pressure gauge. It’s a device the measures the water pressure in your house. Since the common plumbing problem in most homes is piping with high pressure, a water pressure gauge will surely come in handy. When you have one, it ensures no leaks or significant pressure changes in the piping system in your home.
An increase in the water pressure can cause the pipes and hoses to burst. Constantly high pressure on the lines and fixtures can strain on them over time.
14. Replace Copper Piping
If your home has copper pipes, it might be time to replace them. Consider replacing copper pipes with corrosion-free options. Once copper pipe joints wear out, they can cause corrosion, leading to holes that allow a steady leak of water. Over time, the continuous dripping can damage the inside of the walls and the ceilings.
15. Regular Maintenance of Trees and Shrubs
If possible, avoid any landscaping projects close to your home, especially near pipes. Make sure to get rid of any shrubs or trees that are too big.
Trees with invasive root systems can grow into your pipes, sprinkler system, and drainage. If you decide to add trees in your yard, plant at least 20 feet away from your house.
Water damage can cause significant damage to your home if you overlook minor issues. Once you spot any signs of a leak in your home, an immediate repair can help lessen the damage. Depending on the cause of water damage, these tips will help reduce the chances of further damage in your home.