Water damage can often be avoided with routine maintenance and assistance form qualified contractors. It will be worth your time to take a few moments every week to check potential trouble spots in and around your home. Early detection could mean the difference between a simple mop-up job and major construction repairs.
Check for hidden leaks by turning off faucets, all water using appliances, and not flushing the toilets for and hour. 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, a leaking pipe may exist. Know where the main water shut off valve is located in your home and check it frequently to make sure it is operational. Disconnect garden hoses from all spigots the start of winter. Fill in all low spots around the house so water drains away from the foundation. Inspect caulking around windows and doors and replace as needed where cracked or deteriorated. Repaint wood siding as needed.
Keep roof, valleys, gutters and downspouts free from buildup of laves, twigs and other litter preventing proper drainage. Proper roof and eave ventilation may help extend the life of the roof by reducing the buildup of heat and moisture in the attic. Avoid walking on the roof to prevent wear and tear. Only necessary repairs or inspections should warrant walking on the roof. Keep trees trimmed to prevent them from rubbing against the roof or from providing excessive shade.
Watch for these warning signs:
- Missing, curling, cupping, broken or cracked shingles
- Damage or deterioration around the flashing at chimneys, vents and other junctions
- Damage or deterioration in valley areas of the roof
- Water stains on your ceiling. If possible check your attic around flues, plumbing vents and chimneys
- Pooling or ponds of water that fail to drain from flat or low sloped roofs may indicate low areas and inadequate drainage
Another important aspect to look at is your rubber washing machine hoses. The rubber on these hoses gets old and can burst causing a flood in your home. To alleviate this issue you can install metal washing machine hoses That will not break and ensure you will not have a flood.
Inside your home
Water leaks can happen anywhere in the house, but they occur most frequently in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.
Dishwasher – Periodically check under the sink to see if the hose connection to the water supply is secure and is not leaking. Check around the base of the dishwasher for evidence of leaks.
Refrigerator- If your refrigerator has an ice maker, check the hose connections to make sure it is securely attached to the water supply line.
Sink – Recaulk around sinks and pay attention to slow draining pipes. This may indicate a partially blocked drain. Check the pipes under the sink for signs of leaks.
Showers and bathtubs- Discoloration or soft areas around floors and walls near showers or bathtubs may be your first indication there is a leak. Check caulking at joints where the walls meet the floor or the bathtub, looking for cracks or mold. If either is found, clean and remove loose material and apply new sealant. If the shower walls or floor are tiled, a leak may develop if there are cracks or missing areas of grout.
As time goes by, moisture and daily use take their toll on plumbing fixtures. Porcelain and fiberglass surfaces can dull, discolor, or become damaged. Separations can appear where the bathtub joins the wall. Before you put a stained, chipped, or cracked fixture out to pasture, consider giving it a face-lift with some bleach, touch up paint, glue, or caulk.
Placing inappropriate objects or too much toilet paper in the bowl can accidentally clog toilets, especially low-flow toilets now required in homes. Hanging bowl deodorants are frequently the culprits. These objects can lodge in the plumbing system and can block the line or create an obstruction that grease and other material can cling to- eventually leading to a leak.
Most water heaters last 10 to 15 years. Wet sports on the floor or a rusted tank may signal a problem. Hot water heaters should be installed on the lowest level of the home and always located next to a drain. If installed above or adjacent to finished spaces, the hot water heater should be placed inside a drain pan with the drain pan piped to the floor drain.
Hot Water Heater Maintenance – Annually test the temperature-pressure relief pressure buildup by lifting or depressing its handle and draining water from the overflow pipe. If water doesn’t drain out, shut off water to the heater, open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house, and replace the valve.
Open the drain valve at the bottom about every 6 months, letting the water run into a bucket until it looks clear (usually about 5 gallons). This will prevent sediment accumulation.
At the start of the cooling season, have the A/C system serviced by a qualified contractor. Make sure their service includes inspecting and cleaning the air conditioner condensation pan drain line to keep it free of obstructions. Change the air filters on a regular basis.