How to keep your home free of water damage
Water damage can occur in homes in a variety of ways. Homeowners should check for leaks throughout their houses, inspecting pipes and connections in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. Look under and around sinks and around bathtubs for any discoloration. Do not ignore connections to dishwashers or to refrigerators with water and ice dispensers.
Make sure water is flowing properly down drains. If not, try clearing the drain with a plunger or an over the counter solution. If that does not work, call a professional for assistance.
To keep drains and pipes clear, follow some simple steps such as pouring cooking oil into a suitable container and disposing of it properly after it cools and never flushing diapers and other inappropriate items down toilets. In addition, backflow valves should be installed in sanitary and storm sewer lines.
Check the floors around water heaters for wet spots, which could indicate you have a rusted tank or other problem. If necessary, have the tank replaced as soon as possible.
A leak in the roof of your home and clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to significant water damage inside your house. As soon as you notice a leak in your roof have it inspected and repaired immediately. In addition, keep all gutters and downspouts free of leaves and other debris that could cause water to back up and leak into your house.
Owners of properties located in areas prone to flooding should give serious consideration to applying a waterproof coating or membrane to the exterior walls and installing watertight shields over doors, windows and other openings.
When winter hits, keep an eye out for snow accumulation on the downside of a higher- level roof, where blowing snow will pile up. For safe snow removal, ask a roofing contractor for a referral.
Remove snow from basement stairwells, window wells and all walls to prevent water or moisture from penetrating walls. Also, keep attics well ventilated to maintain temperatures close to the outside, which will minimize the risk of ice dams forming.
To ensure that pipes do not freeze and burst, keep the heat in your home at an acceptable level, cover exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping and open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.