Simple Ways to Prevent Water Damage in the Home
Water damage can be devastating for any homeowner. Walking into a room full of water and ruined furniture is bound to shock anyone. Whether it’s your living room, kitchen, or bedroom, finding a flood inside your home can be stressful.
Water damage can be especially damaging for humid areas such as basements. A basement lacks ventilation and has limited exits, making it difficult for water to evaporate or escape.
Not to mention, the aftermath of water damage can have long-term effects and cost a fortune to repair. One of the most common effects of water damage is mold growth. Mold in your home can be dangerous and affect those exposed to it. A small tinge of mold can be easy to remove and won’t require professionals, but a large amount may require more expertise.
What Causes Water Damage?
A variety of reasons causes water damage. Several causes include flooding caused by severe weather, drainage issues, leaking pipes, blocked drains, leaking water heaters, and even high relative humidity. As a result, your home can become flooded, and this water can damage your furniture and walls.
When it comes to water damage, it’s going to take more than a mop and a bucket to fix it. The first step is to find the source before fixing the problem. Finding the source of water damage can be difficult, but when you know where to look and how to look, anyone can do it.
The Source of Water Damage
The first step to preventing water damage is to find the source of water and what type of liquid is involved. This will help a lot during the cleaning process. Professionals usually categorize the liquids into three groups.
Category 1 liquids are usually from clean sources such as faucets or toilet tanks. This type of liquid is often sanitary and safe to touch. Category 2 liquids are usually from dishwasher overflow or urine contaminated water. These types of liquid can cause health problems for anyone who drinks it and is often called greywater. Category 3 liquids are incredibly unsanitary and unsafe. They’re usually from sewer backup or flooding.
Where to look?
So, where can you look for the source of water damage? We recommend checking leaking or burst pipes. If you have a basement, finding leaking pipes might be easy. However, if your pipes are placed inside your walls, it might be more of a challenge, and you might have to call for professional help.
Pipes can break down from time to time due to wearing down over time or clogging. When a pipe bursts or leaks, water can leak into your home, causing water damage.
Flooding can occur because of various reasons such as a significant pipe break, heavy rain or snowmelt, sewer system issues, sump pump failure, and cracks in the foundation. However, flooding is more prone in basements where water damage is the most common.
Other water damage sources can be found in leaking roofs, clogged drains, or even failing appliances such as washing machines or refrigerators.
Roofs are fully exposed to many elements and can eventually break down, especially in areas where severe weather is common. The damage may start in the attic, but it will eventually trickle down to other areas of the home.
Like everything else, appliances can fail from time to time. Many appliances in the home require water to function. When these appliances malfunction and leak, it can leave you with damaged floors or walls.
Water damage can also come from accidents. For example, forgetting to turn off the sink after using it can cause a flood and result in water damage. Leaving your freezer door open for a long time can also cause it to leak.
Clogged drainage systems
Your home’s drainage system is fundamental. It’s designed to move water away from your home. If it’s malfunctioning and your drainage system is clogged, this can cause water to overflow your home.
Humidity in your home can also be a source of water damage. Rooms with a lot of moisture and lack of ventilation, such as bathrooms, crawl spaces, attics, and basements, are prone to high humidity. When left alone, it can worsen the condition of your home.
Simple Ways to Prevent Water Damage
The key to water damage prevention is early detection and maintenance. Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent water damage.
Take some time to plan a routine inspection around and inside your home. Walking around to check any visible pipes for leaks or signs of wear and tear is highly recommended. If you have old neglected pipes, your insurance will not cover the cost of the damage. If you detect leaky pipes early on, your insurance will be able to cover the cost, saving you money from costly repairs.
For pipes that aren’t visible, it might be challenging to find. These pipes can be found in your basement, crawl space, or foundation walls most of the time. If you’re unsure about going into any crawl spaces or foundation walls, get your homes inspected by professionals every year or two so you know what repairs are needed.
Keep Your Appliances Updated
Your appliances also need to be monitored and maintained. Through time, they can break down, and sometimes they leak. If you have wooden floorboards, you might not be able to spot any leaks because the water seeps through.
Not to mention, water and electrical outlets can cause fatal results. So, make sure your appliances are up-to-date and aren’t causing leaks. Regularly check for leaks from your refrigerator, washing machines, and other appliances.
There are also options like buying a home warranty as a type of insurance in case any of your appliances break. One of the most dangerous things to do with appliances is use them whether or not operating properly. Having a home warrantyis it cost-effective way to protect your appliances in your home.
Look for Signs
Another thing you can do is look for signs of water damage. Something like a musty smell can mean that there’s mold growth. Stains on ceilings or walls show that there may be water seeping into rooms. These stains are usually yellow or brown.
Wood is prone to water damage, but thankfully, signs of wear can be spotted. When water leaks onto wood, the wood eventually crumbles and starts to warp or smell. You can also recognize it by stepping on them.
Other signs to look for when looking for water damage include a patch of water on your carpet, musty odors, or the sound of water droplets inside your home.
Keep Your Home Dry
Lastly, we mentioned that humidity could be a massive factor in water damage. This is a big problem if areas in your home lack ventilation and are prone to moisture. So, a way to prevent water damage is to keep your home dry.
If you feel that your basement or rooms are humid, then it’s probably time to bring in a fan or dehumidifier. You should also open windows as much as you can. If you have the time and funds, consider waterproofing your basement.
Water damage is excruciating to deal with. However, if you detect it early on, you can prevent it from getting worse, and it’ll save you from expensive repair costs in the long run.
The key to preventing water damage is to maintain and monitor your home. Be active and observant in looking for signs such as mold growth, leaking pipes, and broken appliances. Although it may seem tedious, it’s going to save you a lot of hassle in the future.
Additional Real Estate Resources
Bill Gassett posted an article although selling a home with mold. There are many things you need to know including but not limited to pricing the home, possible lawsuits, and how to get rid of the mold.
Karen Highland has put together an article with easy-to-follow tips for preventing water leaks in your home. Sometimes the simplest prevention can see thousands of dollars if taken care of.
Paul Sian has written an article all about the roof in your home. You will find everything from how the roof is assembled to how to tell if the roof needs replacement.