Water damage is one of the common causes of property-related loss, though it isn’t strictly a seasonal threat.
Whilst preparing your home for winter is important, homes left unattended during summer months often mean unidentified leaks cause extensive damage. Fixing these damages can be quite expensive, running into thousands of dollars sometimes, with the average cost of fixing water damage pegged at $3,300, depending on the extent of the damage.
Well, there are a number of easy steps you can take to control and prevent water damage in your home, and that’s what you’d find in this post. Use these simple steps to ensure your home is protected against water damage year-round.
8 Ways to Protect Your Home Against Water Damage
- Know where the stopcock is.
Your stopcock is the control tap for your mains water. It centrally controls the water that flows through your home and it is vital that you know its location, which for a lot of homes, is just below the kitchen sink.
Ensure that not only you know where it is, but that your family members know too. A severe leak or rupture can take only minutes to cause severe damage.
Knowing where and how to shut off the water supply is crucial in protecting your home against water damage.
- Proactively check for leaks.
Minor leaks can pass undetected with relative ease yet do significant damage if leftover time. Consider that a leaky tap can displace up to 57 gallons (260 liters) of water a week.
Check underneath sinks and around appliances like dishwashers and washing machines for signs of stray water.
More about water leaks, prevention, and control can be found here.
- Check if your sump pump works.
Common in homes with basements, the sump pump plays a critical role in ensuring your basement won’t flood after prolonged spells of rain. If you have a sump pump, ensure it’s well maintained and properly serviced once a year, while you can carry out routine checks every quarter.
- Keep your gutters clear of debris.
Whilst leaves are the most common culprit of blocked gutters, don’t assume this is only an autumnal issue. Moss and weeds are routinely found to be a major cause. Blocked gutters contribute significantly to instances of dampness. If water is running down the side of your house, or if a gutter appears to be sagging, then they’re likely blocked and need to be cleaned.
- Inspect your roof, inside and out.
The first point of contact in the home for rain is through your roof.
Therefore, in preventing water damage in your home, check inside your attic for any signs of water leaking through the roof. Look for damp spots on joists or tea-coloured stains on plaster.
Outside, inspect the roof itself for signs of visible damage, and ensure the flashing surrounding any chimneys is intact.
- Prevent pipes from freezing.
Use a smart thermostat to maintain a minimum temperature of at least 10 degrees Celsius in your home, even if you plan on being away. Warm water must be able to circulate through pipes to prevent freezing damage from occurring.
If your home is going to be unoccupied for long periods, turn off the water supply at the stopcock and consider draining the system so no water is left in the pipes.
- Install a water leak detection device.
Water leak detection is one of the most effective hacks to protect your home against water damage.
Relatively inexpensive, detection devices shut off the water supply in the event of a leak, which is essential if you leave your property vacant for extended periods.
- Look for areas of moisture or mold.
Flaking paint or wallpaper can be a sign of dampness, as can black, speckled marks on skirting and sills. If your walls feel cold to the touch, or you notice a musty smell, then consider adding additional insulation.
Also, check windows and skylights for condensation in the mornings. Its presence can indicate higher-than-average moisture levels in your home.
Now that you have eight simple ways you can protect your home against water damage, ensure that you go ahead and apply them and indeed, you’d reduce the risk of water damage or extensive water damage to your precious home.
Well just in case you take all the measures and still suffer water damage to your home, please do not attempt to fix the situation by yourself, as this can