Leaks can cause huge amounts of damage to your home. Leaks can cause unsealed floorboards to rot, can damage insulation within walls and cause metal to rust. Leak damage can also lead to mold growth.
Taking preventative action against water damage is probably the most important part of home ownership.
Maintain the Roof
The most common source of water leaks is through the roof. Rainwater may seep in under loose tiles or through a loose seal in a chimney. These leaks aren’t always easy to locate – rainwater may enter the roof on the complete opposite side to where it exits through your interior ceiling. It’s best to hire a roofing company. If you’ve had multiple leaks, a full roof replacement could be a worthy investment for preventing any future leaks (it could also improve the value of your home).
Seal Up Cracks
The average home is full of cracks that can allow rainwater in. The most common cracks are found in walls, which can often be easily caulked. Bigger cracks may need professional intervention. You should also look out for broken seals around pipes entering your home as these can sometimes be a source of leaks. Consider gaps around windows and doors – adding waterproof seals to the frames will help to keep water out and reduce hidden damage. Sealing your home will keep the water out, create better insulation, and keep bugs and rodents away.
Seal Up Flooring
Sealing up the floors can prevent a leak or a spill from permeating into the floor and causing damage. Major leaks can often damage floorboards, which can then damage the structural integrity of that floor. Many modern flooring options such as vinyl and ceramic tiles are pre-treated to keep water at the surface, however old flooring may require having a sealant applied. Basements are a common place for water damage, make sure the flooring is sealed – there are sealants available for concrete.
Install A Damp Proof Course
A damp proof course will help protect your home from rising damp. This is a thin layer of DPC that is wrapped around the bottom of your property’s walls to prevent water from permeating the structure of your home. Taking steps against rising damp is important as this can damage the foundation of your home. A damaged foundation causes the entire structure of the home to become weak. Installing a damp proof course is a job best carried out by professionals.
Replace Leaky Fixtures
Old bathtubs, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers can often develop leaks if seals are broken. You can repair these seals, but chances are if you’re getting leaks, the fixture if probably old enough that it could benefit from a replacement. Modern fixtures may have stronger seals may be more eco-friendly, saving you money on your water bill.
Maintain the Water Heater
Why maintain your water heater? Keeping your water heating system in good condition could in fact prevent water damage – water heaters have been known to rust and corrode leading to leaks. Maintaining your water heater won’t just prevent leaks, but it could also help to lower your heating bill.
Monitor the Water Pressure
Water pressure that is too high can cause pipes to burst or seals to rupture. Homes in areas that are prone to high water pressure often have a water pressure reducing valve fitted. Your area’s water pressure can alter depending on activity in your neighborhood.
Check for Overflow
Many fixtures have overflow pipes fitted that can help to prevent excess water from causing damage. For example, baths are fitted with an overflow pipe to reduce the chance of them overflowing. Old overflow pipes can rust up and leak – if you’re getting water damage when using certain fixtures check the overflow pipes.
Consider Flood Prevention Devices
Those that live in a high-risk flood zone are most at risk for water damage. In such circumstances, consider buying devices that can divert or block water from getting into your home. Sandbags have been used for centuries to help keep out flood water. Another modern option is to purcahse a hydrosnake or hydrosack which you can fit around the base of your door. There are devices that can stop flood water from damaging your home such as backflow valves to stop sewage backup.
Home insurance won’t stop water damage from occurring, but it could help to cover the cost of repairs. Most homeowners insurance plans only cover weather damage – this could include damage caused by a flood or rainwater getting in.
It’s worth shopping around to find an insurance best suited to you. Many standard insurers won’t insure you if you live in a high-risk flood zone but fortunately there are specialist flood insurance companies that can cover you.
*This is a collaborative post.