Routine maintenance on a home is necessary to keep it in the best condition possible. If your home is not maintained properly you could be looking at costly repairs. Water damage is one of the most common and costly problems affecting property owners.
Maintaining a home is one of the best ways to prevent water damage. There are ways to protect yourself and home from water issues.
Maintenance Inside Your Home
There are several maintenance tasks you should perform inside your home to prevent water damage and disasters.
1. Water Main
- Know where your water main is located. When you leave for a vacation, you can shut it off to minimize the chance of damage caused by faucet drips or other water leaks.
2. Fix Leaks Immediately
- If there are leaks in your pipes or toilets, it can cause water damage. This can lead to mold growth . Lack of maintenance can also result in structural damage to your home.
3. Check Appliances Regularly
- Check your appliances regularly for leaks, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Upgrade old washing machine hoses as these are some of the main causes of water loss and leaks. If your refrigerator has an ice maker, check the water line hose between the fridge and the wall for any leaks. If a leak goes undetected, installing a floor pan under appliances can help prevent damage.
4. Check Water Pressure
- If the water pressure to your home is set too high, pipes and hoses may fail under the pressure. Typical residential water systems are designed for water pressure of 40 – 70 psi.
5. Check Your Water Bill
- Compare each month’s water bill. If your usage jumps significantly without explanation, start investigating the cause. Is there a leak in your pipes or crawlspace?
6. Routine Inspections
- Some components and structures should be inspected yearly for cracks, leaks, rust, and water stains.
- Water Heaters
- Air Conditioning Units
- Faucets and Sinks
7. Seal Windows & Doors
- Make sure all windows and doors are sealed properly to prevent water seepage. You can use caulk on your windows and weather stripping for doors. If not properly sealed, rain and melting snow can get inside and damage the window frames and drywall.
8. Test Your Sump Pump
- Test your sump pump system at least once a year and during heavy storm seasons. If it is not working properly, it can cause major water damage.
9. Install Detection and Monitoring Devices
- Installing a water detector near your water heater or washing machine is a good way to find slow leaks. If you want to monitor the flow of water into your home, use a water flow monitoring system. This device attaches to the water main and detects continuous water flow.
Checking Outside Your Home
It’s important to inspect and maintain certain outdoor components to ensure your home is protected from water damage.
10. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
- Gutters should be cleaned twice a year to remove any blockage. Leaves, sticks, and other debris can clog gutters. Clog-free downspouts ensure water can flow through and away from the home.
11. Install Gutter Guards
- Gutter guards are attachments used to protect the clogging of your roof gutters so that water from your roof can flow easily away from your home and not pool.
12. Maintain Trees
- Minimize landscaping near utility pipes. If necessary, remove or trim trees and shrubs that have grown too big.
13. Ensure Proper Drainage
- Having proper drainage for your home is the first step in preventing damage caused by rainwater and heavy downpours. Poor drainage can weaken your foundation, causing cracks in the concrete foundation, uneven settling, pooling of water, and creating pathways for water to enter your home.
14. Inspect Your Roof
- Inspect roof shingles to see if any are damaged, loose, or missing. A well-maintained roof is important in preventing water leaks, mold or algae buildup.
15. Add More Soil
- Water can weaken the foundation of your home and cause walls to lean. Adding soil around the foundation can create a downward slope to guide water away from your home.
16. Check Sprinklers & Irrigation Systems
- Make sure your sprinklers and irrigation systems aren’t pooling any water near your foundation or damaging the siding of your home. When temperatures approach the freezing mark, make sure to turn off and drain any outside faucets or hoses to protect against any water freezing inside of your pipes which can cause them to burst.
Lack of Maintenance
If you have not been on top of all the maintenance issues inside and outside of your home, water damage can occur and you’ll need help in removing and restoring it.
St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration provides water damage restoration services. Our certified technicians will respond quickly to any water emergency to assess the source of water and start the cleaning process. Contact us today for a free evaluation.