A home is a place that holds the things that are most important to us. They contain our families, our belongings, and our comfort. Since our homes are where we keep the things most important to us, their security is a high priority.
Your home’s security extends beyond burglars and fires – water damage can be a costly and destructive hazard. Hurricane season is not the only time your house can suffer water damage; faulty plumbing, clogged gutters, and many other factors can lead to leaks and flooding.
There are some steps that you can take to prevent water damage. Keep reading to learn what some of those things are.
Check the Downspouts
Downspouts are long tubes that carry water from the gutters and empty them onto the ground. A simple way to make sure your downspout is working is to pour water down it.
Another way downspouts can cause water damage is if they end perpendicular to the ground. A perpendicular downspout can pour water out against the foundation. Rainwater cascading down in high volumes and speeds can cause your foundation to erode.
This can cause water to leak into your home through the foundation. To avoid this, add a 90-degree elbow to the downspout to carry the water away from the house.
Clean Your Gutters
Clogged gutters can damage your home in multiple ways. When leaves, debris, and other material back up in your gutters, it prevents rainwater and snow from flowing out through the downspout.
This build-up of moisture can leak in through the roof and sides of your house, which can lead to structural issues and an influx of mold. Be sure to take proper steps to maintain your gutters and prevent clogs.
Prevent Water Damage With the Stopcock
The stopcock is what controls the flow of water into your home from the main supply line. In cases where a pipe has burst, you need to know where the stopcock is so you can shut off your water.
In general, most homes have internal and external stopcocks. The external stopcock controls the flow of water from the main that supplies your street. The internal stopcock controls the flow of water as it enters your property.
The external stopcock can be found out on the street or in the back or front yard of a house. It should look like a metal tap and marked with a metal cover with the word ‘water’, ‘stopcock’, or the letter ‘W’ somewhere on the cover.
Internal stopcocks can be harder to find, especially in older homes. They can be under the kitchen sink, in the basement, by the gas meter, in a utility closet, and in other places in your home. It is a good idea to take some time to figure out where it is before you have an incident.
Replace the Washing Machine Hose
Incoming washing machine hoses are a common source of water damage for homeowners. A broken hose can release a deluge of water into your home in a short period and cause damage to your home and belongings.
These hoses are under constant pressure and will degrade and weaken over time. A good way to enact water damage prevention is to turn on the water to the hose when you do laundry and turn it off after you are done.
Since hoses degrade over time, a good rule of thumb is to replace them every five years. Wire-braided, high-pressure hoses are one of the best types you can purchase for your washing machine.
Replace Cracked and Missing Caulking
Caulk is a waterproof sealant that can prevent water from entering your home. Cracks in caulking or missing caulking pose a risk to the structural safety of your home.
When the weather permits, you should take a survey of the exterior of your home and look for cracks and missing caulking. Be sure to pay special attention to the top of window casings; water can accumulate in this area.
You should fill cracks of any size that you find since any size crack can allow water inside your home.
Check Your Sump Pump
Sump pumps are common in homes with basements. They serve as your home’s last line of defense against flooding and protect a home from water damage.
You should test your sump pump at least once a year to make sure that it works.
Ensure that your sump pump is connected to the ground-fault circuit-interrupter outlet and that your pump turns on. Make sure the circuit breaker that connects to the sump pump GFCI is on. Replace these breakers as necessary.
Sump pumps can tilt over by accident so check that it is upright. Finally, check that the sump pump drains water by pouring water into the sump pit.
Be Proactive About Checking for Leaks
Leaks don’t have to be large to cause damage to your home. Small leaks pass without detection for long periods of time until you notice extensive damage to your home.
Check around appliances like dishwashers and washing machines for standing water or wet spots. Another good place to monitor is underneath sinks.
You should also monitor your water bill to look for spikes in usage that are atypical of your usage habits. Electronic water leak detection systems can also monitor your usage via sensors. The sensors measure water flow, temperature, and pressure.
The sensors will catch leaks and burst pipes before they can cause extensive damage to your home.
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At Amistad Insurance, we offer a wide range of insurance types so you can have coverage for all of the important things in your life. If you found our advice on how to prevent water damage helpful, we would love to assist you further.
We offer many types of insurance, such as health, homeowners, life, and renter’s insurance, among others. Contact us today to get a quote on the types of insurance that you need.