Water damage is one of the most common reasons for home insurance claims (Insurance Information Institute). Water comes in many different forms — a burst pipe, wood rot, or mold growth, to name a few. Whether it’s hail that’s bombarding your roof or rainwater seeping into your basement & weakening your foundation, water can take many dangerous forms that threaten your home and property.
Water damage weakens your home’s core strength and also leaves it vulnerable to bug & rodent infestation. In fact, most water damage is gradual and can go undetected, crippling your home’s structure over time. Often times, homeowners don’t even know that such damage is occurring.
Water damage can cost thousands of dollars to fix, because it can spread throughout your whole home before harm is even noticed. The best way to deal with water damage is to prevent it before it ever occurs.
Reinforce Your Home’s Exterior
Your home’s exterior is often your first line of defense against water damage. Make sure you conduct routine checks of your windows, roof, and gutters to check for any existing or potential deterioration.
While you’re conducting this check-up, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are your windows sealed well? Have you caulked up any leaks to prevent water seepage?
- Is your roof in good condition? Check for loose or damaged shingles or wood rot.
- Are your gutters and downspouts clear of debris? Are your downspouts correctly pointed away from your home?
- Do you have gutter guards to stop clogs and keep water flowing off the roof?
- Are your sprinklers pointed away from the house so they’re not causing any water damage to your siding or shingles?
- Do you shut off and drain your outside faucets to prevent pipe bursts?
When doing this, your main goal is to make sure that water stays away from your foundation. Water can cause cracks and uneven settling, which makes it easier for water to infiltrate and damage your home. Damp conditions are also very enticing to mold, rot, and bugs!
It’s also important to make sure that your outside walls stay as dry as possible. If your walls are perpetually damp, they can weaken and sag. Water can even collect around the base of your home and permeate your basement or foundation.
Fortify Your Basement
Your basement is one of the most common sites for water damage because, being underground, your basement is often cool and damp.
Concrete is a naturally porous material, which means it soaks in water easily. If you frequently see damp spots on your basement walls or floors, you should reseal your basement with a sealant that is applied to the cement walls and floors to prevent any more water from getting in.
Sometimes, a sewage backup can cause water damage in your home. This is definitely a situation that you want to avoid, so make sure to install a backwater valve if your sewer system allows. A backwater valve lets sewage go out but prevents it from coming back in.
Maintain Indoor Plumbing
A burst pipe is a homeowner’s nightmare. Luckily, they can usually be prevented by regular maintenance and check-ups on your indoor plumbing.
Make sure you check all appliance hoses & faucets for leaks or damage and inspect the seals around toilets & bathtubs to ensure they are watertight. Also, survey your plumbing and heating pipes. If you see any cracks, rust, mold, or leaks, have a plumber look at it right away. A burst pipe can quickly translate into thousands of dollars home and property damage.
Are You Safe from Wicked Water?
There are countless ways your home can become vulnerable to water damage. Rain can back up in your gutters or enter through your window seals. And while there are so many ways water can damage your home, they all mean the same things — your property and family could be in danger, and it will be an expensive fix.
The best way to protect your house from water damage is by fortifying your home’s exterior. If you want to take precautions against water damage in your home, call Northeast Home & Energy today to make an appointment for a free consultation. We can make sure your roof and exterior walls are strong and sealed against any moisture.
Insurance Information Institute. (n.d.). Facts Statistics: Homeowners and renters insurance.
Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-homeowners-and-renters-insurance