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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Ways to Help Prevent Water Damage

11/16/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damaged Wood Floors at a Luxury Downtown Fort Worth, Texas Condo.

A water damage can cause a home or business owner thousands of dollars in damage in just a matter of hours! The good news is you can prevent water damage to your home by following a few simple, inexpensive preventative measures.

  1. Make Sure You Clean the Gutters - Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned at least once a year – even more often if you have overhanging trees dropping leaves and debris. Gutters that become clogged can dump water down the side of your house, destroying plants, landscaping and your home’s foundation. Installing gutter covers is a good way to slow clogging. Making sure the gutters are clean is a simple way to allow the gutters to do their job, and to let water harmlessly drain away.

  1. Monitor Your Water Bill & Water Meter - A spike in your water bill could indicate a leak. Even a small leak can become a big problem if left unattended for a long period. To check for leaks you can't see, try marking the water meter with a piece of masking tape (or note the digital reading), with the edge right over the needle to mark its place. Provided all water-using devices and faucets are turned off, the next step is to leave the house for 6 hours. Upon returning, the needle should be in the exact same spot. If it has moved at all, there most likely is a leak.

  1. Check Under Your Kitchen & Bathroom Sink -Kitchen & bathroom sinks, are among the most used drains in the home. Sink drain pipes develop leaks particularly since they are in common spaces and typically near under-sink storage. If the sink has gotten jostled and not properly resealed, it can begin damaging the cabinet space underneath. Be sure to remove items from under your kitchen sink occasionally to check for dampness and mildew. If left untreated, this can result in both significant mold and more serious damages to the home.

  1. Flash and Chalk Windows and Doors - Windows and doors are the main openings in a home, and often the spaces around their frames develop cracks where water can seep in. To prevent water getting into the walls, ensure that the flashing and caulking that surrounds these openings is intact. It is recommended that you caulk doors and windows at least every five years, and inspect them every time the season changes. For homes that have vertically-mounted vents that lead into the attic from a wall instead of through the roof, the same maintenance process also applies to these vents.

  1. Turn Off Water When Leaving - It’s always a good idea to turn off the main water supply when leaving your home for an extended period. Turning off the main water supply helps to reduce the chance of small leaks turning into huge, expensive damage while you are away. Never run appliances, such as your dishwasher and washing machine while you are away from home. If the appliance leaks while you are gone, the damage can be tremendous. Finally, know the location of your main water supply valve and learn how to shut it off before you have a leak.

  1. Secure Appliances and Fixtures - Supply lines for ice makers, toilets and washing machines are often subject to vibration and can loosen. Over time supply lines can wear out and begin to leak. It is recommended that you replace any rubber supply lines with braided stainless steel. Installing a leak detector with a water-sensitive shut-off mechanism can also prevent flooding in your home. You should inspect the tightness of connections at least every 6 months. If there is fraying, replace the line immediately.

  1. Inspect Your Air Conditioning Unit - It is very important that you check for water overflow during the hot summer months when your air conditioner is running constantly. If you notice water leaking from your AC inside, it could be due to a clogged condensate drain line. When the water cannot escape your home through the soffit hose, it fills the drain pan and overflows. It is also important to make sure that the drain pan is not old and damaged. If you do have a leak it’s best to call a professional to determine the reason for the leak.

  1. Know When to Replace Your Hot Water Heater - The average lifespan of a hot water heater is 8-12 years. As your heater ages, it’s prone to slow leaks and sudden bursts, due to tank corrosion and broken valves. If you notice the water doesn’t get as hot as it used to, there’s rust in your water or a metallic taste to your hot water, it could be a sign your hot water heater is about to fail. Schedule a professional inspection immediately.

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

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Call Today - 817-589-1499

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