In 2017 alone, 19.5% of property damage claims involved freezing incidents and water damage. A hurricane, severe storm, or flood could cause billions of dollars in damages if you’re not prepared. Even a small leak could cause expensive losses.
Don’t wait for a storm to strike! Instead, learn how to prepare and protect your home.
Keep reading to learn how to prevent water damage in your home. With these tips, you can minimize costly accidents before damage can occur. Start using these essential water damage prevention tips today!
Understand Your Plumbing System
You’ll have a hard time minimizing water damage in your home if you don’t understand your own plumbing system. By learning all you can about your home’s plumbing, you’ll know how to respond when water starts rushing in.
First, examine your faucets and hoses. You’ll want to check your hoses on a schedule. These include the hoses that lead to your:
- Water heater
- Washing machine
Check the hoses once a year to make sure they haven’t sustained damage. You’ll also want to check them before and after a major storm. If you notice a leak after a storm hits, you can get it taken care of right away.
Otherwise, you’ll likely want to replace your hoses every five years.
Water can freeze within a pipe, which will keep water from flowing and cause a back-up. As a result, the pipe might burst, causing water to flood throughout your home. You’ll have to deal with water damage to your floors, walls, foundation, and lost possessions.
Learning more about your plumbing system and water flow can help you avoid these situations.
First, make sure to seal and caulk your tubs and showers. Caulking will ensure these areas are watertight. Next, check your heating pipes for leaks and cracks as well.
Don’t forget to determine where the water shut-off valve is, too. During an emergency, you’ll want to turn the valve off as soon as possible to minimize damages.
Check the Basement for Seepage
Approximately 98% of basements will experience water damage at some point. Your basement might flood if the water heater blows up or if the water sits around unnoticed. As a result, you’ll have to pay for:
- Extracting the water
- Replacing any lost or damaged possessions
- Recarpeting the stairs
- Purchasing a new sump pump
- Mold mitigation
In order to protect your home (and budget), here’s what to know about water damage prevention for your basement.
First, make sure to reseal your basement before a flood occurs. You’ll want to look for any cracks in the foundations or flooring. If water seeps into those cracks, it can cause erosion over time.
Check your basement walls and floor before and after a storm for any cracks.
After it rains, check your basement for damp areas or water seepage. If you notice any problem areas, paint them with a coat of water sealant. The sealant can help prevent water damage in the future.
You might want to install a backwater valve to prevent sewer backup from causing damages. A backwater valve will allow the sewage to travel out and keep it from returning.
Pay Attention to Your Possessions
Hurricanes, floods, and heavy rains cause billions of dollars in property damage. If you live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes or storms, make sure to prepare your home.
In addition to the damage prevention tips above, you’ll want to consider your possessions, too.
First, develop an inventory of your valuables. Make sure to take photos of everything, as well as where they’re located in your home. Maintaining this record will help you in the event that you need to file a claim.
Keeping a record of your possession can also help you avoid stress if flooding does occur.
If you’re still worried about an impending storm, consider storing your possessions before the natural disaster strikes. You might want to have waterproof bins handy. Storing your items in cardboard boxes won’t protect them from water damage.
Make sure to avoid storing valuables in a damp area. Otherwise, you might notice mold buildup. Instead, consider adding shelving to keep your possession away from the floor.
Maintain Exterior Repairs
It’s also important to prepare the exterior of your home before a storm strikes.
Start by caulking and sealing your windows. If you live in an area accustomed to hurricanes, consider impact windows. These windows can prevent water seepage and keep strong winds from damaging the glass.
Next, take a look at your rain gutters. Debris can clog up your gutters, causing water to build up. That water could potentially flood your attic or roof.
If your gutters are damaged, get new ones. Here’s what you need to know before buying rain gutters for your home.
Otherwise, make sure the water flows away from your home. Check your irrigation system and sprinkles, too.
Prevent Mold Growth
Mold grows and spreads faster than you might realize. In many cases, mold damage isn’t covered by a standard homeowner’s policy. With that in mind, you’ll want to do what you can to prevent mold build-up before it can occur.
First, use air conditioners and dehumidifiers to keep moisture from building up.
Make sure the humidity within your home doesn’t exceed 60%. You can use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom to minimize humidity.
Otherwise, make sure to remove standing water as soon as you can. Damp materials (including carpets and towels) can cause mold to grow and spread.
Check Your Bill
In addition to these water damage prevention tips, make sure to examine your water bill regularly. If you notice a sudden jump between one month and the next, examine your home. Look for areas where you might have a leak.
Then, schedule a time for repairs as soon as possible before the damage becomes worse.
Preventing Water Damage: Tips for Protecting Your Home
Get ready for stormy weather! With these tips, you can prevent water damage and protect your home. Regular water damage prevention can help you avoid costly damages or mold growth.
It pays off to prepare! Explore the Homes section of the blog for more helpful guides.