What is water damage and how can we prevent it?
Water is a very powerful element. While it counts as one of the most important basic needs of humans, water can also be unpredictable, relentless and destructive. Water damage has become alarmingly apparent in the image of a natural disaster, such as hurricane, storm, and flood.
Water damages in households, offices and residential buildings can impact not only the revenue but also the people, its job and the quality of life. On the off chance that the water damage occurs, the best way to clean up is preventing the damage to happen or spread right away. To prevent significant losses and damages due to water, the owners and administrators are suggested to plan and implement the water damage prevention programs. Some of the effective prevention programs include engineering controls (such as excess flow shutoffs), administrative controls (such as education of staff on reporting small leaks and damages and location of the shutoff valves), and emergency procedures (such as having equipment on hand for emergency use).
What are the typical causes of water damage in your home?
Water damage can happen any time water pools somewhere it’s not meant to be, whether that’s within a room or inside your walls or roof. Several situations can cause water damage in a home. These are some of the most common:
- Severe storms, floods and other extreme weather.
- Leaky or burst pipes.
- Malfunctioning dishwashers or washing machines.
- Cracks in your foundation or walls.
- Roof damage, such as missing shingles or cracked flashing.
- Drainage problems on your property.
- Problems with your HVAC system.
Are there any visible signs of water damage?
Water damage is obvious when it’s caused by a flood, but other causes are harder to spot. If you don’t know what to look for, it can be easy to miss until it becomes a major problem. Here are the usual signs of water damage in a home:
- Peeling paint.
- Warping of your floors.
- Strong musty smell in a room.
- Sagging in parts of your walls or ceiling.
- Stains or discolored patches on walls or ceilings.
- Water pooling in your yard after a storm.
- Mold growth (which can look like dark discoloration) on any surface.
Essential Water Damage Prevention Tips
Prevent water damage in your home by following these prevention tips to avoid future costly repairs:
Ensure good drainage.
The gutter’s main purpose is to collect excess water off the roof and direct it away from your property. When the gutters get clogged, water overflows down the side of your house or into your basement instead of away from your property. This can lead to foundation damage, yard damage and roof leaks. You should clean your gutters once a year or after severe storms. After you’ve cleaned out all the gunk, flush your gutters out with a garden hose.
Test your sump pump.
A sump pump is your first line of defense against basement flooding. They’re used to pump water that has accumulated in a sump basin away from a home to a municipal storm drain or dry well.
Prepare for the winter season.
The pipes most susceptible to freezing are in the low insulated areas of your home, such as the attic or crawlspace. Check this area of the home out and see if you’re pipes are vulnerable. If you need to add insulation, make sure to follow all directions and wear the necessary protective equipment, especially when dealing with fiberglass insulation. If you have exposed pipes, consider installing insulation products, such as a “pipe sleeve” or “heat tape”. In winter, remember to keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to reach pipes and don’t fiddle with the thermostat. You might be tempted to turn the thermostat down during the night to save on heating bills, but this drop-in temperature can cause your pipes to freeze.
Fix water leakages.
Water doesn’t like to sit in one place. It likes to travel, especially through porous materials like drywall, carpeting, and underneath floorboards. If a leak is left untreated it can lead to mold growth, staining, and damage to walls and flooring. The faster you address a leak, the less damage there will be and the more likely it will be that your insurance company will accept your water damage claim. A quick fix like this can get you by until you call a plumber to apply permanent repairs, but you shouldn’t rely on it to provide long-term water damage protection.
In need of Water Damage Help?
Preventing water damage to occur is one of the most important investments an owner can make. However, sometimes small leaks unexpectedly happen that often lead to a bigger problem, and there is nothing you can do about it. In case of water emergencies, call a professional or trained water leak cleanup crew to respond and begin the process of drying and repairs.