When you think about the time you spend inside and outside your home, you never think about the things that could go wrong. Imagine spending the day relaxing in bed or coming back from a long vacation only to see water spewing under the sink, your dining room flooded, or a ceiling collapsed.
These scenarios may seem extreme, but unfortunately, they can happen. Many people have come home to see their spaces flooded or have experienced a pipe burst. Water damage is one of the most frequently filed homeowner’s insurance claims, and it’s important to take preventative measures to ensure your home is secure and up to code.
People may think that water damage in the home isn’t a big deal, but that’s the furthest from the truth. Your everyday items like sinks, toilets, dishwashers, ice makers, washing machines, and other home appliances can all experience leaks and even cause floods.
Whether you have a small leakage, have experienced catastrophic water damage, or want to be more prepared, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few ways to protect your home from water damage.
What Causes Water Damage?
If you’ve found leaks or puddling water in your home, you may wonder how they got there in the first place. Finding the source of water damage can be challenging if there aren’t any obvious signs. Water damage can result from a storm, faulty appliances, or cracks in your home foundation.
Some common causes of water damage include:
- HVAC issues
- Drainage problems
- Pipe leaks and bursts
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Roof damage
Common Signs of Water Damage
Water has no limits. It can be inside your walls, underneath the roof, and in your basement. Sometimes, you don’t even know it’s there. However, water can leave unpleasant marks and stains and emit a sour smell. If you’ve never experienced water damage, you should be aware of the following signs of it in the home:
- Mold spots on the walls and floors
- Wall and floor stains
- Sagging ceiling tiles
- Peeling paint
- Puddling water in the yard after a storm
- Musty smells in your home
- Warped floors
Ways To Prevent Water Leakage and Damage
Here are some effective ways to stop water leakage and damage from occurring in the first place.
Check Your Appliances Regularly
Often, your appliances could be the culprits of water damage and leaks. Double-check the water line between your refrigerator and the wall to ensure no leaking from the ice maker or water dispenser. If you have a water heater, inspect it every year to check if you see any water pooling or rust. For those with attics, it’s essential to check for mold growth. Water can saturate the wood, and humidity can encourage rapid mold growth.
Checking your appliances frequently can prevent health problems and home damage.
Inspect Sinks and Drains
The easiest way to keep your home safe from water damage is by inspecting your sinks and drains. It’s always best to keep your sinks and drains in great condition by practicing proper maintenance and disposal. Avoid pouring grease, noodles, rice, coffee grounds, and eggshells. Whether you use piping hot or cold water to wash these down, they can stick together and cling to your pipes.
This can cause serious damage and clog your drains. You should also be careful using chemical drain cleaners. They can eat away at your pipes and further damage your sink.
Monitor Your Water Bill
Another way you can prevent and catch water damage is by monitoring your water bill. Get an estimate of your average monthly water bill. And if your usage spikes randomly, you could have a water leak.
An expensive water bill may be due to the following:
- Water cycling continuously
- A dripping faucet
- A leaking toilet
- Broken pipes
- A leaking water heater
Clean Out Your Gutters
Having clean gutters is essential to owning a home and preventing water damage. A clogged drain can weaken the foundation and give water a clear path inside your home. If you don’t remember the last time you cleaned your gutters or downspouts, you should attend to them now.
It’s always best to clean out your gutters about twice a year. You may even want to do so more frequently during windy conditions. Heavy rain and wind can stuff your gutters with branches, leaves, and other debris. Remove debris as soon as possible to prevent water damage in your home.
Fix the Caulking Around Your Home
You can prevent leaks around your doors and windows by fixing the caulk around your home. Inspect the areas around your windows and doors, and check for tiny cracks and holes. If you notice a crack, use caulk to seal it! Apply caulk to both sides of the window or door and use a weather strip to double-fill it, ensuring that you’ve tightly closed the holes and cracks.
Examine Your Pipes
You should check your pipes at least twice a year, especially if you live in cooler or wet climates. Believe it or not, pipes can decay, rust, and corrode after years of wear and tear. If your pipes go unchecked, that can lead to water damage and leaks. In serious cases, damaged pipes can result in flooding or backed-up sewage.
Install Smart Water Sensors
Technology always impresses us every day with its new advances. Protect your home from water damage by installing a smart water sensor. Having a water sensor is worth every penny and will give you peace of mind when you’re away from home for extended periods. These devices sense water leaks before they cause damage, giving you a heads-up if something’s wrong.
Smart water sensors shut off the water main when they detect leaks to prevent expensive damage and stress.
Inspect Your Roof
Your roof protects you and your belongings from the outside elements. However, once your roof begins to deteriorate, it can go undetected until it’s too late. You can stop water damage by regularly inspecting your roof. Checking your roof before and after heavy rain or strong winds is best.
Hire a professional or grab a ladder and a pair of binoculars to search for small or large splits, cracks, or missing shingles in your roof.
How Can We Help?
We’re not plumbers, but we know navigating water issues in your home can be stressful and difficult. However, you don’t have to go through it alone. By working with Saferoad Insurance, you’ll cover your home for accidents like burst pipes and water leaks. We offer affordable home insurance in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to protect your home from water damage and other unforeseen circumstances.