Water Damage Prevention Checklist

Modern building materials are quite resilient and can withstand a lot of damage. However, water is one of the most powerful forces of nature and even limited exposure to it can cause damage to your home. The best way to avoid home water damage is to stop it from happening in the first place. With some preventive steps, you can secure your home and guard it against leaks, plumbing failures, water backup, etc. You can’t really avoid natural disasters like floods and storms, but everything else is fairly preventable.

1. Assess your Exterior Drainage System

Problems with the exterior drains and gutters are a common cause of basement floods and other such water-related damage. If the gutters on your roof are clogged and haven’t been cleaned for a very long time, the water that falls on the roof won’t drain away from your foundation. It will slide down the siding and enter your basement through your foundation. This can cause damage to the walls, weaken the foundation, and then flood the basement. All of this can be prevented if you just clean the gutters and ensure the downspout releases water 5 to 10 feet away from your property.

2. Check and Maintain the Sump Pump

Sometimes storms can overwhelm the roof gutters and landscape grading. The excess rains increase the groundwater levels, which can cause basement floods as well. A sump pump will collect the excess water and direct it away from your home. It’s important to check the efficiency of this pump every year and perform all the repairs it needs promptly. A malfunctioning sump pump can make a bad situation worse and cause extensive damage during storms. If you’re familiar with how the pump works, you can open it and check its performance yourself. Here’s what you need to do:
  • Slowly fill the pump container with water and keep an eye on the float. When it rises, the pump should switch on automatically and draw the water away. If the water levels don’t go down, you need to call a professional for repairs.
  • You should test the backup pump for drainage problems as well.
Routine sump pump maintenance will keep the system in good shape and help you avoid flooded water during storms and heavy rainfall.

3. Home Water Damage Due to Leaks

Water leaks are some of the most common causes of water damage and mold. Even the smallest plumbing problems can cause extensive damage to the drywall and floors. Here’s what you should do to avoid water leaks:
  • Check the plumbing for small leaks. Make sure you check behind the sink, toilets, and other areas that are hidden from sight. If you see a pool of water or dark water stains on the floor or wall near the plumbing, you have a leak. Fix the leak as quickly as you can and remove all the excess moisture from the spot to discourage mold.
  • Get your plumbing system inspected every year, especially areas that are prone to develop leaks like gutters, downspouts, roof shingles, flashing, etc.

4. Be Aware of Your Water Supply System

You can limit the damage caused by burst or leaking pipes if you simply cut off the water supply to the area. For that, you need to be aware of the water supply system and know where the shut off valves are. You can ask your plumber or research online to determine where these valves are located and how you should close them. This awareness will help you avoid excess home water damage and even floods. You should also make sure that these valves function well and will shut off the water supply when you turn them.

5. Check Your Appliances

Appliances that use water can also cause extensive water damage if you don’t maintain them. Here are some things you need to check in order to avoid water damage:
  • Check and change washing machine hoses regularly.
  • Check the water pressure and ensure it’s not over 100psi.
  • Examine appliances that use water like ice makers, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, etc. If they have water around them, shut off the water supply to these appliances and call a professional.
If you follow these steps, you should be able to keep water damage at bay. If water damage does happen, you should call home water damage repair professionals immediately. If you allow the water to linger for too long, it will cause extensive damage and you will be forced to replace valuable items or renovate sections of your home.