Prevention Tips: Water Damage & How To Avoid The Avoidable
With the exception of sudden flooding many water damage situations can avoided if the right precautions are taken. Since even a small amount of water left unresolved over time can be damaging to a property, diligence is the best tool in fighting it. It seems to happen all too often that water finds its way into attics, basements, or other rarely visited or seen areas of a property. Left unnoticed and unaddressed, water damage leads to mold growth which compounds damage, the cost to remedy it, and health concerns all at once. Once mold is present you have typically reached the point at which professional water damage restoration services are necessary to resolve the problem. To avoid this necessity, the following water damage prevention methods should be followed:
- Gutters & Downspouts — leaves, twigs, sticks, and other debris of any kind can and will find its way into gutters and downspouts and when they become full or blocked, water may have nowhere to flow by down the side of your home. This water runoff can cause potential damage to your homes walls and even enter the home through loose or shifted windows or other openings. It is typically a good idea to inspect gutters a few times per year and to remember to check for cracked or sagging sections.
- Downspouts Should Serve a Purpose — if your home’s downspout (the piece of open piping that releases gutter run off) doesn’t reach out at least 6-9 feet away from your homes foundation, it should be extended. Water runoff should always lead to a sloped section of foundation and into the road/gutter ways to avoid flooding of your property in the event of heavy rains and storms.
- Roof Inspections Should Be Done Annually — overall deterioration, cracked/broken/missing shingles, and holes are at the top of the list of fixes. Thankfully in beautiful California the amount of winter storms we experience are at a low when compared to other parts of the country. However, having unresolved issues with a roof can cause huge headaches and $1,000’s of water damage if you wait for a rainstorm to be the thing that notifies you.
- Backflow Valves — if your home is equipped with a basement that has drain locations, or any toilets or sinks, (see: all homes) a backflow valve is typically a good idea. Backflow devices prevent unwanted sewage and waste from backing up into a home in the event a sewer line becomes broken, clogged, or damaged.
- No Grease Down The Sink, Ever — if you can avoid it, and hopefully you can, cooking grease should never be poured down sinks and drains. What was once hot, liquified cooking oil and animal fat when hot, becomes thick pipe clogging petroleum like grease once cooled. American plumbing systems are not meant for this type of waste. Pro Tip: An old pickle or mason jar can be kept underneath the sink as a used cooking grease storage vessel. Just remember to allow grease to cool to avoid spilling hot grease on your belongings or yourself.
- Routine Water & Sewer Leaks — having a bi-annual hydrostatic pressure test will only run you a couple hundred bucks but it can give you priceless information about the state of your homes plumbing system. If leaks are present in the line, that water has to go somewhere. If you do not visibly notice leaks, that water is going under flooring and into walls. This is a mold paradise. Run a test, ensure there are no leaks. It’s worth every dime. Pro Tip: Unusually high water bills or unexplained increased usage over time is a red flag that something is up!
- Going On Vacation? — turn off the water before you leave. Nothing ruins a fantastic & destressing vacation quite like coming home to a flooded home!
- Don’t Run That While You Sleep — this is to say, do not run water consuming appliances while you’re sleeping. If the water heater or washing machine spring a leak mid cycle and you are asleep for hours before you notice what has happened, hardwood floors are toast! Being able to immediately shut down a leaking appliance is paramount to reducing potential water damage caused by their malfunction.
In conclusion, it is clear to see that there are no shortage of ways that homes and businesses can suffer from water damage. Being diligent in the maintenance of your homes plumbing systems, gutters, and appliance/water supply lines, can save you thousands of dollars in remediation work and untold hassles from dealing with irreplaceable personal items. Here at H & L Water Damage Restoration our team stays at the ready, always willing and prepared to provide the residents of San Jose and the entire South Bay with fast, affordable, & reliable water damage restoration & mold remediation service.