Home Maintenance Tips to Help You Prevent a Water Damage Event
With winter quickly approaching it is now a critical time to make sure your house is ready to withstand the harsh conditions Mother Nature may throw at it. Flood risk can be a real concern with weather changes, so let’s dive into the areas of your house that are the most susceptible and how you can make sure your house stays warm and more importantly dry. We will work from the outside, then move to the inside of your house, let’s go.
Outside Home Maintenance
Make sure your gutters are clear of debris and that your downspouts carry the water at least two (2) feet away from your house. Make sure the water is not pooling on around your foundation, if this does occur you will need to speak to a professional to make sure your landscape is at a decline moving away from your house. This ensures that water will travel away from your house, saving you from potential problems in the future. Another issue to consider are ice dams. This protection prevents water from backing up and leaking into your attic. If you live in an area where this may be an issue, you should consider adding ice dam protection to the boundary of your roof.
If you have a chimney, inspect it. Chimneys are great for warming up the house on a cold winter night, but they are still a giant hole in your roof that is often not as weathered sealed as your windows and doors. Make sure the chimney cap is firmly attached and that there are no loose or cracked bricks or mortar. And if you see cracks in the chimney mortar, consider a repoint service to prevent water entry. On the roof, consider inspecting for loose, broken, or cracked shingles. If your roof is not weather-tight, then water damage can occur.
Staying outside, you will also want to inspect the perimeter of your house for any cracking. Over time your house will settle, and with winter temperatures expanding and contracting your exterior, cracking can occur. You can purchase (relatively cheaply) exterior caulk to fill in these areas. Another cheap measure to take is to buy faucet cover protectors. They slide over your outside water faucet and insulate it so it will not freeze and burst your pipes.
Inside Home Maintenance
it is often pushed aside, but check your attic, crawlspace, etc. While they are often overlooked, they are often the first place you will see water damage. Consider bringing a flashlight to shine a light on those hard-to-see spaces. Also, make sure you check the roof framing and insulation for dampness.
Other key items to monitor are your appliances. Several of our team members were in the Army, where they had Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services (PMCS) every Monday. On these weekly inspections, they checked their equipment every week. That way, they knew what had to be fixed immediately and could plan for fixes or maintenance that was not mission essential.
For water heaters, one of the more common water-damage-causing appliances, it’s recommended they are drained and refilled yearly. Twice yearly if you have hard water. If you’re considering changing your refrigerator, consider paying a few more dollars for a new water supply line to help you ensure years of no leaks and, hopefully, no worries.
If you’ve had your appliances for more than 5 years, go ahead and switch out old hoses, lines, and plumbing. You change your car oil routinely, so why not consider replacing your water lines as well?
A small leak from a water line can cause major water damage to your home if left unattended. Continue to monitor your house, especially areas you may not think about all that often. A little preventative maintenance will pay off with years of no water damage. It will also help you ensure proper insurance coverage, in case any surprise water damage event does occur.
Emergency Ready Plan
Lastly, we recommend having a plan. No matter how much you try to prevent water damage issues, you may one day have some sort of water damage in your home.
We recommend having a plan for when that happens. This is why SERVPRO of Williamson County has a great asset called the Emergency Ready Program (ERP). This is an app-based program where SERVPRO will locate your water, electrical, gas shutoffs. Also, included are any emergency numbers that you will need. This helps business owners and commercial property owners have a plan when disaster strikes. For more information, please reach out to your local SERVPRO of Williamson County.