Water damage isn’t limited to flooded basements and overflowing toilets. Water damage can occur from broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, sprinkler systems, clogged gutters, damaged roofing, cracked foundation, etc. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 13.7 percent of water damage is caused by plumbing issues. Water can cause damage that is as minor as discoloration of ceiling tiles, walls, and carpet or it can cause major damage that damages the structure of your home requiring a complete reconstruction of the affected areas. It is difficult to describe the range of emotions homeowners will feel when a water damage disaster strikes their home. Anxiety and stress are only a couple of the emotions one might feel, not to mention the overwhelming sense of loss. Surprisingly, most water damage disasters are preventable. We recommend following the measures below to prevent potential water damage disasters.
Plumbing problems are one of the most likely causes of preventable water damage. Everyday wear and tear and extreme heat fluctuations can wreak havoc on your plumbing over time. Even a slow leaking pipe can cause major damage if it is left alone for an extended amount of time. A few things you can do to prevent plumbing problems are:
- Use a drain snake to clean out clogged drains. Harsh chemicals can erode the pipes over time making them more susceptible to cracks later.
- If you have a garbage disposal attached to your kitchen sink avoid pouring grease or other oily substances down the drain. Grease will accumulate over time and cause clogging. Yes, this even applies to using hot water to pour grease down the drain. The grease will congeal as it moves down the pipe and the water cools causing deeper clogging.
- Check on any water lines or hoses attached to appliances that function with water. Over time these hoses and lines can become loose or damaged.
- If your toilets are prone to clogging make sure you stick around after flushing. Nothing is worse than having toilet water flood your home.
No one thinks about HVAC systems being the cause for water damage, but the fact is that with the HVAC system installed inside your home or business can cause a significant amount of water damage. It is important to have the system maintained to prevent broken or clogged pipes.
Gutters and Downspouts
Clean your gutters and check your downspouts for damage at least twice a year or before a large storm. When your gutters become clogged rain water will start to collect and overflow. This can cause damage to your roof, siding, and potential damage your home’s foundation if it puddles next to the house.
Maintain Outdoor Plants
Trees can provide cool shade during the hot summer months and shrubs and bushes can be aesthetically pleasing but they can also be the cause of unexpected water damage. Avoid planting trees close to your home’s foundation or near any water lines. Tree roots can be invasive and damage your water lines or crack your foundation as they grow. Branches can also wreak havoc on your roof during strong wind or rain storms. Contact an IICRC certified and professional water damage cleanup team if you are experiencing water problems due to plumbing issues or any other issues.