Water damage is expensive and time consuming to repair. While some instances are unavoidable, others can be prevented with careful maintenance and some planning ahead. You won’t be able to control whether or not your whole neighborhood floods, but implement these five tips to avoid water damage and you can cut your risk for anything less than that.
1. Seal any exterior paneling
Exterior paneling is a great way to spruce up your home. Extra paneling may even provide more insulation, lowering your heating and cooling costs. Panels that fit over your existing walls can be the cheaper alternative to a complete makeover, but they also provide opportunity for water damage and mold growth if they’re not properly sealed. Water behind your panels turns into the perfect breeding ground for molds. It’s protected from direct sunlight, and that insulated space can provide it the warmth mold needs to flourish. Avoid water damage by periodically checking on the sealant around your paneling.
2. Maintain your appliances
If your appliance draws water it has the ability to break down and send that water spewing forth all over your floors. Check your owners manuals whenever you buy a new appliance. Some of them list that yearly or semi-yearly maintenance is required in order to preserve their warranties. Some state that the technician who maintains them needs to be certified in their brand, etc. Even if the scheduled maintenance feels like a burden, do it. This is one of the easiest ways to prevent water damage. Keep your appliances in good repair and they’ll be more efficient and less likely to drown your kitchen or laundry room in soapy suds.
3. Have temporary repair supplies handy
You can prevent water damage from spreading by having supplies on hand in case anything does go wrong. A tarp, some duct tape, and a bucket or two are going to be your best help in containing a flood of water. The tarp can go over a leak in the roof or over the floor to help protect against an overflowing sink. These supplies may not be able to prevent water damage entirely, but they can help prevent a leak from turning into a flood.
4. Know how to turn off your water
You can prevent water damage by knowing how to cut the water to your house. There are often guides online, or you can call a handyman or experienced friend. Almost all homes can have their water shut off by one valve on their incoming pipe; where that’s located depends on your home and your relation to the city plumbing lines. It’s better to know this before you need to, but in a crisis your water company may be able to tell you how to cut the water yourself.
5. Check your weather stripping
Water damage can accumulate around windows and doors with poor weather stripping. Water can get into the ceiling, walls, and floors. These leaks may not be very noticeable, but they can cause lasting damage. Mold and rot growth are common around poor weather stripping. Test for dampness and replace any obviously damaged stripping ASAP.
You can’t control the floodwaters, but you can control the everyday occurrences that cause most water damage. By knowing your water setup, having temporary repair supplies handy, and just being vigilant about your home’s upkeep you can avoid water damage. Sharp eyes and a proactive attitude are the best safety measures.