Water bursting through frozen pipes is a common sight in homes during periods of very cold weather. […]
Even a small amount of water can cause considerable damage to your home. When water finds its way into your property through the roof, basement, a leaky pipe, or an old water heater, the result is often extensive water damage and mold growth. Thus, knowing how to spot trouble areas to prevent water damage in your home is critical.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), about 1 in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year. The average American uses between 80–100 gallons of water a day, so it’s no wonder that some of it goes astray and leads to water damage.
While homeowners’ insurance covers many losses, it doesn’t cover all of them. And, most of the time, these problems require professional water damage restoration services. A better solution, however, is to prevent water damage from occurring in the first place!
Take a few steps to avoid going through the heartache (and wallet-ache) of experiencing water damage. Check out these common scenarios and tips on how to prevent water damage in your home.
Incoming washing machine hoses are one of the most common sources of flood water damage in a residence. One broken hose can release a tremendous amount of water in just a few hours.
Furthermore, the hose is under constant pressure 24/7; inevitably, it will weaken and burst over time. Granted, the water comes from a clean source, but it flows everywhere when it bursts.
The best way to prevent washing machine water damage is to turn the hose valves on and off as you start and finish washing clothes.
Also, replace the hoses every five years as manufacturers commonly recommend. Choose wire-braided, high-pressure hoses over standard hoses. You can get them at almost any hardware supply store. It’s not a question of “if” but “when” a hose will burst. So, replace them on time!
A leaky toilet can waste as much as 100 gallons of water each day. Test your toilets for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank, then watch for a few minutes. If the color appears in the bowl, you have a leak. Repair your toilet, and it will save you time, money, and heartache from unnecessary potential water damage.
The next step in learning how to prevent water damage is maintaining appliances and fixtures that use water. Continual, slow leaks can migrate under vinyl, stone, and other floorings without notice. Keep in mind that a homeowners’ insurance policy often doesn’t cover water damage that occurs over an extended period due to poor maintenance.
So, move the refrigerator and other appliances and regularly check for any damage or signs of a leak. Check water line connections attached to the dishwasher, ice maker, reverse osmosis line or any other water line. Also, leave a gap of three to four inches between the unit and the wall. Here’s another idea: don’t run appliance cycles when going to sleep or leaving home.
Inspect your home for leaks in areas such as ceilings, under pipes inside sink cabinets, or around sinks and toilets. Get under the sink and feel the lines for moisture. Look on the cabinet’s deck for any drips that are collecting or for signs of wet/damaged materials. Immediately fix water leaks and replaced damaged hoses to prevent serious water damage and mold growth.
Ice dams can cause water to enter a house due to several factors. The space from the eve of a roof to the exterior wall is called the soffit. It is the outside perimeter area that overhangs and protects the walls from water when it rains.
When insulation in the attic does not reach the exterior wall, the heat inside the home in the winter goes from the interior of the house to the attic. Close to this area of heat loss is the actual roof and a little heat from this situation (improper insulation) can melt snow on the roof, which then runs into the gutter.
At night or other times of colder temperatures, the melted snow refreezes, forming ice in the gutter. Once the gutter is full, the ice begins to dam and then refreeze. If left unchecked, this ice dam builds back up the slope of the roof. In time, the freezing/melting ice can actually penetrate under the shingles and sheathing, and into the attic and even make its way to the living area.
Water damage then appears on the ceilings of the rooms under this area. Again, this is a maintenance/construction issue, and a homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover these water damage repairs.
Ice dams take form when warm air in the attic heats the roof and melts the snow on the roof. The melted snow collects on unheated eaves and starts freezing, creating ice dams. If you don’t prevent or remove ice dams, the result will be winter water damage to your roof and home.
Pipes in the crawl space, outside walls, and in the attic are vulnerable to freezing and bursting in cold temperatures.
Melting snow and ice can enter your home through the roof or foundation when spring arrives. Follow the winter water damage tips below to prevent that from happening.
As you can see, there are many ways that water can damage your home. Follow these preventive steps to avoid dealing with water damage claims in your home. However, if water has still affected any of your belongings, you will need professional restoration services. For emergency flood repair and water removal services, contact your local PuroClean office.