How to Prevent Water Damage
While water damage can occur from a variety of causes, some of which are unpreventable, there are certain precautionary measures you can take to avoid preventable water damage from occurring. Most of the water damage that occurs in homes comes from plumbing issues and burst pipes, so being aware of the overall health of the plumbing system in your home will help. Below are a number of guidelines and water damage prevention tips to help water damage from occurring:
The Water Supply Cutoff Valve
Knowledge is power, and everyone in your home should know where the water supply cutoff valve is as well as how to shut it off. That way, should a leak occur or a pipe burst while someone is home, they can shut off the water supply immediately. This will lessen the extent of any water damage as well as help you save money on any expenses incurred to extract the water.
Before a pipe bursts, many times it will give off a warning sign that all it not well with the water pressure by making noises or shaking. High water pressure dramatically increases the risk of pipes bursting, so use a pressure gauge to measure the water pressure of your home or office. The meter should read between sixty to eighty psi, or pounds per square inch. Any higher than eighty means an increased risk of pipes bursting.
Cover any exposed piping properly so natural elements don’t negatively affect it. Shut off the water supply whenever you leave your home for an extended period of time for peace of mind and assurance no problems will occur in your absence. People living in colder climates should allow their pipes to drip to prevent water from freezing inside them and causing them to erupt.
Your Water Bill
Your water bill can be a great source for scoping out any potential problems. Keep an eye on the typical amount the water company charges each month. If the bill is much higher one month, a leak could easily be the culprit.
Household appliances like washing machines, dishwashers and water heaters have rubber fittings on them that weaken as time passes, so periodically check your appliances as well as your pipes and water supply hoses for signs they’re getting older and should be replaced. If any fittings seem loose, tighten them and replace any older or cracked rubber fittings at that time. Older water heaters can also rust on the bottom and begin to leak. A maintenance and inspection schedule of about once a year should be sufficient.
Keep your appliances and plumbing systems as clean as possible. Take out the lint from clothes-washing machine and remove grease buildup from the kitchen sink as best you can. These substances can clog appliances and prevent them from working properly, which leads to an increased risk of water overflow.
Areas around sinks, bathtub and showers are constantly exposed to water, so adding additional caulking and grouting to those areas from time to time would be wise.
While water damage from naturally occurring forces like floods is inevitable, with proper attention and care, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood of preventable water damage from happening in your home.