Water is essential to human life on this planet. But while we’re all very thankful to have water in our homes, we never want to have water literally *IN* our homes. Right? It doesn’t matter if it’s from a burst pipe or leaky roof, any amount of excess water in our homes can very quickly cause major structural damage and property loss. Unfortunately, despite water damage often being preventable in many instances, it’s easily one of the most common residential insurance claims.
Signs Of Water Damage
Once the water has started leaking into your home, it immediately starts pooling inside the walls, on top of ceilings, and underneath floors. Soon afterward you may start noticing some of the following unpleasant signs of imminent or ongoing water damage.
- Sagging ceiling
- Warped floors
- Stain marks
- Peeling paint
- Musty smells
- Mould spots
- Pooling water (inside or outside)
If you want to ensure your home and belongings are as protected as possible against water damage all year round, here are a few proactive yet simple steps you can take.
Clean The Gutters
When leaves, sticks, and other debris build up in your gutters, they can very quickly block the flow of water. This creates a clog where water can pool, cause roof leaks, and eventually damage the foundation. Ensuring your gutters are clean is crucial if you want to prevent water damage.
The most effective way to keep debris from blocking your gutters is by cleaning them out at least a couple of times each year. Especially after wild storms which may have blown foreign objects up there. If the idea of getting on a ladder to check the guttering terrifies you, the other option is to have someone install some gutter guards to ensure debris cannot get lodged in the future.
Inspect The Roof
Your roof is the first, last, and only line of defense safeguarding against the outside elements coming inside your home. And not only does the roof protect you, your family, and your possessions, it also protects the structural integrity of your house as well. The roof is also one of the more common ways water can find its way inside.
Leaky roofs often start as small and unnoticeable issues, so it’s crucial to inspect both your roof and ceiling regularly for any tell-tale signs of leakages. Once you’ve looked for stains and damp spots on your ceiling, head outside and inspect the roof outside for visible signs of damage. This includes damage like missing shingles, faulty materials, and damaged guttering, as well as damage from big storms, strong winds, and other natural causes.
Check The Plumbing
Pipes and plumbing can rust, break, or become corroded over time, especially after years of wear inside an older home. Once plumbing starts deteriorating, pipes will eventually burst and cause water or even raw sewage leaks or flooding inside your home. Not only is this type of water damage often costly and time-consuming to repair, but possibly disgusting as well.
This is why you should check your home for evidence of leaky pipes at least once a year so repairs can be done before little leaks become massive problems. Check for any moisture, soft spots, or pooled water all around plumbed areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, toilets, and laundries. Otherwise, you can always book an annual inspection by a licensed and professional plumber.
Remember that when it comes to water damage, prevention is always better than cure. Or the best offense is defense. No matter what idiom you use, preventing water damage from ever happening will always be a much better and cheaper option than paying through the nose for major repairs, restructures, and renovations to your home.
The good news is that by looking out for the most obvious indications of water damage, they can often be found early enough to be easily fixed. Simply by following the steps above, not only can you prevent water from damaging your home, but you can also ensure you, your family, and everything inside is always completely safe and dry.
Water Damage FAQs
What Causes Water Damage In Homes?
One of the most frequent reasons for water damage in homes is due to leaking or burst pipes. This can be from unregulated water pressure, temperature changes, or general deterioration of old pipes. Uninsulated pipes also can freeze in the winter, causing pipes to burst.
How Do Floods Destroy Homes?
Floods often deposit dirt and microorganisms throughout the house. Silt and sediment can create short circuits in the electrical system as gunk collects in walls and in the spaces behind each switch box and outlet. Appliances, furnaces, and lighting fixtures also fill with mud, making them dangerous to use.
How Is Water Destructive?
But water is the most destructive force on earth. Most of us see the destructions water can cause through storms and tsunamis, but water also works slowly, over time to infiltrate your foundation.
How Long Does It Take For Water To Ruin Foundation?
How Quickly Water Damage Ruins Your Property. When dealing with water damage, you generally have up to 48 hours to react. If you fail to call in a restoration specialist before this clock runs out, you risk worsening property damage and mold growth.
How Do I Keep My Foundation Dry In My House?
1. Keep Shrubbery Trimmed if Close to the Foundation. 2. Fill Minor Foundation Cracks. 3. Keep Moisture Levels Around Your Foundation Consistent. 4. Test Underground Water Sources for Leaks. 5. Do Regular Foundation Inspections.