Water damage is one of the costliest disasters any homeowner can encounter - Depending on the extent of water damage incurred. This is why it is important to ensure your home insurance covers water damage. While most home insurance policies cover for water damage caused by burst pipes, storms among other natural causes damages.
It is however of the utmost importance for you to understand what measures you can implement to safeguard your property from water damage. In this post will categorize the measures depending on the source of water.
1. Outdoor water source(they include storms, rainwater, and poor drainage.)
Measures to prevent incurring water damage from the outdoor water are :
- Regular inspection and repair of the roof. - The roof remains your fast defense against rain, snow e.t.c. Inspect the roof tiles or shingles. Ensure you repair the ones loosely attached and replace the damaged or missing ones.
- Proper drainage. – You should ensure that there is proper drainage around your home to avoid rainwater from settling right next to your home which can cause the rainwater to flood into your home causing damage. Too much water settling right next to the foundation is the reason cracks in your foundation.
How do you ensure there is proper drainage around your home?
- Install gutters and downspouts. – gutters collect the water from the roof and the downspouts direct the water downwards clear from the walls and the water out in a safe place(recommended to be at least 7 feet away from the house) well far from the home’s foundation.
- Install gutter guards. – Having clogged gutters and downspouts is just as bad as not having them installed. The gutters and downspouts should remain clean so as to remain effective. You can install gutter guards to ensure leaves and other debris does not clog the gutters.
- Change the soil grading – The key to changing the soil to create the slope effect around your home. This is done by adding soil around your home at least 7 inches covering the foot span. This will ensure all the rainwater deposited right next to the foundation is directed away from the foundation. This is important for homes with basements or crawlspaces. These spaces tend to have pulled the excess water, which makes the basement or crawlspace damp creating a perfect space for mold, insect, dust mites, and mildew to thrive.
- Check the sprinklers. – You should ensure your sprinklers or any lawn irrigation systems you have don’t pool a lot of water close to your home’s foundation. All the water should be drained from the pipes or hoses outside especially during the winter to avoid the pipes bursting.
- Seal the attic, windows, and doors - while a well-maintained roof will keep most of the water out, space in the attic or between the windows or doors and the walls can allow rainwater into your home causing lots of damage.
2. Indoor water sources (these include burst pipes, overflown sinks, and bathtubs.)
- Where is the water main? This may come as a surprise to you but many homeowners have no idea where the water main is located. In case of a burst pipe causing flooding the first step should be to turn off the water from the water main, which will minimize the extent of the water damage.
- Check drains – check all drains regularly to avoid blocked drains causing floods, especially for sewage drains. Grease should never be poured down any drain because grease will congeal and cling on to the pipes blocking the water flow.
- Check all appliances. – all appliances that use the water e.g. dishwashers, refrigerators with water dispensers, water heaters, and washing machines should be regularly inspected for water leakages as even the smallest leaks can cause catastrophic water damage over time.
- Regularly check on your home’s plumbing system. – it is important for any homeowner to ensure their plumbing system is checked for leaks to avoid slow leaks especially at the part where pipes are joint. Gradual water damage can cause more water damage in the long run.
- Monitor the water pressure. – it is always a good idea for you to monitor the water pressure because a sudden decrease in the water pressure can be an indication of water leakage. Hence you should have a plumber check your pipes.
- Check your water bill – Most homeowners who have resided in the same home for a while can likely estimate how much their water bill will be. Therefore should you receive an unusually high bill, while your water consumption has not increased then there could be a water leak in your home?
We always advise homeowners to ensure they turn off the water at the water main especially when they are away on vacation. Because in the unfortunate situation of a pipe bursting while you are away for weeks the water damage can substantial.