10 Inexpensive Ways To Avoid Water Damage
No one wants or likes to experience the effects of water damage in their home. However, did you know that water damage ranks as one of the most common (and costly) homeowners insurance claims? Nationwide, water damage ranks second, coming right under wind and hail damage. Unfortunately, while rain or hail risk is seasonal, water damage can happen year-round.
The best way to avoid costly water damage repairs and claims is to prevent water damage from happening in the first place. Water damage is avoidable if homeowners keep a vigilant eye on maintenance and repair needs. Implementing a solid prevention regime will only take a couple of minutes and could save you a significant amount of time and money. That’s why the expert team at Klean-Co is here to share with you the best tips to protect your home and avoid water damage before it happens!
- Water damage is preventable if you perform regular maintenance.
- Know where your main water valve shut off is and how to turn it off.
- Never let leaks, clogs, or mold go unaddressed.
- Perform regular inspections of your drains, roof, gutters, and downspouts.
How Does Water Damage Homes?
Water damage is not always due to natural disasters like floods or hurricanes. No, water damage is often much sneakier than that. Instead, homes often feel the impact of water damage by pinhole-sized leaks in pipes, blocked or clogged gutters, poorly graded soil, or malfunctioning appliance. Many homeowners could easily prevent many water damage incidents with do-it-yourself fixes.
Structurally speaking, left unchecked, water damage will rot out your studs and drywall, create black mold, and weaken structural elements like joists and beams. Financially speaking, water damage will impact your pocketbook. While insurance may cover the repairs, you still have deductibles to pay and coverage limits.
Some of our prevention tips require you to get up on your home’s roof. Please use a sturdy, stable ladder, wait until you have a partner present in case you slip or fall, and wear the appropriate footwear.
Prevention For Outside Your Home
It helps to break down prevention into two categories: inside and outside the home. We will start with your outside-the-home tips. Regular maintenance in several key areas will help prevent water from creeping into your home.
1. Take Care Of The Downspouts/Gutters
Downspouts gather water from the gutters and bring it safely down the side of your home. However, they run the risk of pushing water down along the foundation of your house. Run water through the gutters to ensure that your downspouts and gutters do not have any blocks or clogs. If there are any, clean them out as soon as possible to prevent water buildup. You can also add a 90-degree downspout elbow at the base of your downspout to deter water away from your home.
- Time: 30 to 60 minutes
- Tools and Materials: Ladder and downspout extension and elbow
2. Disconnect Hoses
You should disconnect your hoses from the faucet every fall. Water left in a hose can freeze and work its way back into the pipe, creating an ice block. The ice block can stop your water flow or burst your pipes, creating water damage to your floor, foundation, and walls.
- Time: 15 to 30 minutes
- Tools and Materials: Your hands
3. Fix Missing or Cracked Caulking
Eliminate leaks around your windows and door frames with exterior-grade caulking. Wait for good weather, and then look around your home’s exterior for cracked or missing caulk. Fill any cracks and keep an eye out for signs of water leakage.
- Time: 60 minutes
- Tools and Materials: Caulking gun and caulk
4. Grade Exterior Soil
Use a rake and shovel to move the soil around your home so that it has a gentle slope for the first 10 feet. Next, pack down the soil so that water moves along the top of the soil and doesn’t soak into it. Ideally, the ground nearest your home should incline as it nears and touches your foundation’s wall. This helps keep water from pooling and gathering around your foundation. If there is no incline near your foundation, then water sits there and can enter the foundation or creep into the basement.
- Time: 1 to 2 hours
- Tools and Materials: Shovel and rake
5. Keep Up On Your Landscaping
Shrubs and trees are a beautiful addition to any yard. However, their roots can pose quite a problem to your pipes – especially when they wind around them! Try to reduce any landscaping near utility pipes. If you already have landscaping here, remove trees and shrubs that have become too big.
6. Inspect Your Roof
Without a weather-tight roof, you will have water damage. There is no way around it. Therefore, it is important to perform an annual roof inspection. Get out your ladder and see if your roof has any broken, loose, cracked, or missing shingles. Also, inspect for any overgrown moss that can work its way under your shingles and damage from fallen tree limbs.
- Time: 1 to 2 hours
- Tools and Materials: Hammer, roofing nails, and shingles
Prevention For Inside Your Home
1. Keep Your Drains Happy And Healthy
Every part of your sink system needs to function perfectly to avoid water damage. If the water is not finding its way through the drain pipe and down the main sewer line, then wastewater will leak into your sink cabinets. Keep your drains healthy by avoiding pouring grease down them, performing regular cleaning, and keeping a strainer on your sink and shower/tub drains. In addition, regularly check your drain traps and ensure the tub’s overflow drain is not leaking.
- Time: 30 to 60 minutes
- Tools and Materials: Replacement P-traps
2. Keep An Eye On Your Water Pressure
Check your monthly water bills regularly and keep an eye on any spikes in usage that seem out of the ordinary. Another method is to purchase an electronic water leak detection system and install it on the main water supply line. These sensors will monitor your water flow, pressure, and temperature — preventing leaks and burst pipes from going unnoticed!
- Time: 1 hour
- Tools and Materials: Online or paper bills
3. Know Where Your Water Shutoff Is
It is essential that you know exactly where your main water shutoff valve is and can easily turn it off in case of an emergency. Water flows into your home through the water main and then travels to the other pipes. In addition, if you plan on going on a longer vacation, shut off your water main. No water going into the home reduces your chances of a leaky faucet wreaking havoc while you are away.
- Time: 15 minutes
- Tools and Materials: The Internet and Your Brain
4. Keep Up On Your Appliances
Malfunctioning appliances are one of the most common causes of in-home water damage. Regularly check on your appliances to ensure your washing machine, dishwasher, or garbage disposal is not causing any problems. Also, keep an eye on your refrigerator hoses. As they age, they become old and brittle resulting in leaks. They typically have a life expectancy rate of 5 years. Even though replacing your appliances is costly, it can save you a good amount of hassle, money, and time in the future!
- Time: 20 to 60 minutes
- Tools and Materials: Refrigerator Replacement Hose Kit
Time To Call The Pros
If you experience water damage or have concerns that you already have water damage, please give the team at Klean-Co acall! Putting our customers first, we proudly offer 24/7 emergency water evacuation services and water restoration services because we know that emergencies don’t just happen 9-5. See how we can help you restore your home and prevent any future problems!
Interested in learning more about water damage? Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages!