Your home may be your most valuable asset. It is important, therefore, to protect it from water damage.
According to insurance companies, a third to a half of home damage claims are caused by water. Over half of water damage claims arise from leaking supply lines, hot water tanks, toilets, dishwashers, and wash machines. Combine this with unprecedented rains, flooding, freezing pipes, and backups, and you realize water’s harmful potential.
Plumbers guide water to where it should flow and prevent it from flowing where it should not. Sounds simple, but it is a constant battle against a powerful element. The nature of water is to return to its origin. Water seeks its own level and that is sea level.
Uncontained water can create havoc in your home resulting in expensive repairs. There are multiple actions a homeowner can take to reduce the chances of water creating property damage.
Places to Check Inside Your Home for Water Damage
Give your home an annual checkup to ensure water is not leaking. It is best to catch leaks while they are small.
Kitchen & Bath
- Check the water supply lines on your wash machine, dishwasher, and toilet. Replace them if you find drips or moisture on the water lines as these could mean there’s a leak in the valve or the line itself. A stainless-steel flexible hose is more reliable than a plastic hose as plastic hardens over time and becomes susceptible to ruptures or bursting.
- Check wood floors for water stains or warping, and check tiled floors for wobbles or places where grout or sealant is wearing away. Check carpeted areas for dampness or mushrooms growing. (Yes, this happens when water seeps under the carpet and remains there.)
- Check everywhere for mold. Sometimes mold is best found by your nose. When you open the cabinet under the kitchen or bathroom sink, does it smell moldy? Mold requires water to grow.
- Are bathroom or kitchen drains backing up? Clogged drains can occur from hair, soaps, body oils, garbage disposals, grease, and sewage backups. Catch these while they are small and avoid flooding the floor.
- Check the toilet for leaks around the base, or at the supply lines connection. Pay attention to water on the floor. Sometimes it is an accident, or the shower curtain wasn’t closed all the way, but investigate and find out where standing water is coming from.
- Check all floor drains. Slow or clogged basement drains can indicate a problem downstream and/or in your side sewer line.
- If you have an ice maker, check under and around your refrigerator for water.
- Use your garbage disposal appropriately. Disposals are designed to grind small amounts of food debris. Put the old head of lettuce and the bag of rotten apples in the compost bin.
Other Areas of Home
- If you have sump pumps, make sure those are cleared of debris annually. See your pump instructions and test it to make sure the water trigger is working.
- Check your hot water tank for water stains or puddles. Is there water in the pan? Do the hoses leak? A small pinhole leak in a 50-gallon water tank can ruin your floors, carpets, walls, and furniture if allowed to leak over time.
- Visually inspect your windows, exterior doors, and sliding doors for water seeping into the house.
- Know where your main water shut off is your home. If you are in an apartment or condo, know where your unit shut off and the main building shut off are. Knowing this can stop major flooding.
Places to Check Outside Your Home for Water Damage
- Before the cold weather comes, remove hoses from their hose bibbs. Even a frost-free hose bibb needs the hose removed. If you leave an attachment on the hose bibb, the water inside the bibb can freeze, causing the pipe to break. Cover all hose bibs with an insulating cover to help protect from freezing temperatures.
- Insulate your pipes, especially those under the house, and in unheated areas such as the garage or basement. Water expands when it freezes, and this expansion will cause pipes to burst.
- Schedule gutter cleaning. Clogged gutters hold water and overflowing gutters allow water to run down the outside walls and into your house or foundation.
- Check your water bill. If it is unusually high, you may have a leak in the water service line.
- Look for standing water anywhere on your property. You may have a leak, or you may need to redirect naturally occurring water via gravity and drain lines to a less harmful location.
When you need help with water, call Raymark at 206-440-9077. Water is our business, from your water service and the pipes throughout your home, to drain lines and side sewers.
Raymark contains water. But, sorry, we don’t clean gutters.