The first signs of water damage might seem trivial. However, warnings like water stains on the ceilings or a leak under the kitchen sink can lead to real problems, such as a weakened roof or rotten floorboards. A burst pipe can even damage your furniture and other personal possessions. Why take a chance? Learn where your home is most likely to suffer water damage, and what you can do to help prevent it.
Inside your home
The first signs you might have water damage could already be showing, take a look at the list below to see if you already do.
Dishwasher – Periodically check for leaks under the sink where the hose connects to the water supply. Look around the base of the dishwasher for evidence of leaks, such as discolored, warped, or soft flooring materials, or water damage to nearby cabinets.
Refrigerator – If your refrigerator has an ice maker, make sure the hose connection is securely attached to the water supply line. Also, a wet spot on the floor may be a sign of a crimped ice maker line about to burst.
Sink – Replace deteriorated caulk around sinks, and check the pipes under the sink for leaks. A slow-draining pipe may indicate a partially blocked drain that needs cleaning.
Showers and bathtubs – Remove and replace deteriorated or cracked caulk and grout. Water can leak through these damaged sealants, causing stains or soft areas around nearby walls and floors.Sinks – Check under the sink for leaks from water supply lines or drainpipes.
Toilets – Clogs can result from too much toilet paper or objects such as hanging bowl deodorants. Also, some chlorine tablet cleaners may corrode internal plastic or rubber parts leading to a leak.
Basement, Garage, Laundry or Utility Room
Washing machine – Check hoses regularly for bulging, cracking, fraying, and leaks around hose ends. Replace the hose if a problem is found or every three to five years as part of a proactive maintenance program. To help make sure the hose doesn’t kink, leave at least four inches (or 11 centimeters) between the water connection and the back of the washing machine.
Water heater – Most water heaters last eight to 15 years. Wet spots on the floor or a rusted tank may signal a leak. Water heaters should be installed on the lowest level of the home, next to a floor drain, or inside a drain pan piped to the floor drain.
Sump pump – Battery-operated back-up sump pumps can help protect against power failure or failure of the primary pump. Test the sump pump before the start of each wet season. Sump pumps are not intended to last more than 10 years and must have some components replaced or serviced within those 10 years.
Since water may still come through an overflowing drain or cracks in the foundation walls, make sure items stored in the basement are kept off the floor. Furniture should be on casters or shims and arranged away from floor drains.
Stopping leaks at the source
Check for hidden leaks. First, turn off faucets and all water-using appliances, and don’t flush toilets for one hour. Then, record the water meter reading. If the flow indicator (triangular or diamond-shaped rotating button) is spinning or the meter reading has changed while no water is being used, there is a good chance that there might be a leaking pipe.
Make sure everyone in your household knows where to locate the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it. Check it frequently for problems, and shut off the water if you will be away from your home for several days or longer.
Specializing in the following for commercial and residential properties:
- 24/7 Emergency Response (877) 520-1923
- Water Mitigation
- Dry Out
- Flood Cleanup
- Structural Dry Out
- Sewage Cleanup
- Crawlspace Dry Out
- Basement Dry Out
- Tear Gas Remediation
- Mold Remediation
- Smoke and Fire Damage Cleanup
- Restoration and Repair