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A home is a complex ecosystem, not unlike the human body. And just like our health, your home’s health can suffer from time to time. When it comes to water damage, the national average is that some form of sudden water loss will occur one time in every eleven year span. Have you lived in your home for a decade without incident? Congratulations…but statistically speaking, your luck may be running out. So let’s review some of the things that can go wrong in your home to cause water damage along with some steps you can take to decrease the odds of those problems occurring.
Plumbing systems that can fail and cause water damage to your home
Most homes have 3 essential systems that provide us with the luxuries we’ve become accustomed to in modern-living: a heating & cooling system, an electrical system, and a plumbing system. Given the nature of this article, we’ll discuss the common plumbing system malfunctions that contribute to water damage as well as some of the things you can do to make sure they don’t happen to you!
The water supply line to your refrigerator’s ice maker
This is perhaps the single worst offender. Whether it gets pinched, isn’t installed properly, or the connection loosens over time, you would be shocked at how often our water damage cleanup company gets called out to homes that have been flooded from the water supply line malfunctioning. If you’re getting a new fridge, hire a professional to install it properly. Should something go awry, at least they’re on the hook for the damages. It’s also a good idea to check the supply line once a year to see if you can find any signs of corrosion or warping that may ultimately lead to the line bursting.
The supply lines to your washing machine
The strain on your washing machine supply lines can cause them to burst over time. Especially if you have older rubber hoses, these hoses only have a shelf life of around 5-6 years. Inspect the hoses to see if you notice bubbling or cracking. If so, you’re on the clock! We would suggest upgrading to flexible metal supply lines that are sturdier and less inclined to giving way over time!
Your water heater
If you have a water heater that’s pushing 20 years old, please understand that you’re playing with fire when it comes to the water heater malfunctioning and sending water gushing throughout your home. Once a water heater reaches it’s shelf life, the chance for it leaking dramatically increase. Even with new water heaters, you should have them inspected once a year by a licensed plumber. You should also drain it once every 6 months so remove sediment that can cause it to corrode.
One note: If your water heater causes water damage and you file a claim, and your adjuster comes out and notices that it’s corroded and well beyond its useful lifespan, they may deny your claim!
Toilet supply lines
Picking up on a trend? The supply lines servicing your home’s plumbing systems undergo a lot of strain and pressure. Over time, they start to warp or crack under that unrelenting pressure. Eventually, they fail completely and cause a massive amount of water damage in your home. Luckily, you can replace these lines every few years for just a few dollars! So make sure to inspect your toilet supply lines as well as the supply lines servicing any sink in your home to make sure they’re in good working order and replace them if you see any signs of wear and tear!
Protecting your home against flooding damage from heavy rains
If you don’t have flood insurance, it’s especially important that you take every precaution possible to prevent outside water from coming into your home. Why? Because these types of water damage emergencies aren’t covered by your homeowners insurance. When heavy storms roll in, it can often overwhelm homes…especially those with crawlspaces and basements. So follow the steps below to protect your property from flooding due to heavy rainfall!
Inspect, repair, and clean your gutters & downspouts
If you have a basement that has flooded, most likely you have water that has pooled up against your home because your gutters aren’t capable of doing their job: moving water away from your foundation. Inspect your gutters during a rainstorm. If they’re not working properly, either repair them yourself or hire a handyman. It’s also important to clean your gutters and remove fallen leaves and other debris that may be clogging the downspouts and blocking water from properly exiting the gutter system.
Make sure your lawn is sloped towards the street
Even if your home sits on a slab, water pooling up against the home will eventually saturate the slab and cause water to rise up through the floor and wick up your walls. It’s crucial that you do everything possible to ensure any water that ends up near your home doesn’t stay there but instead makes its way into the street and down the storm drains. With most homes, simply sloping the grade of the lawn away from the foundation will do. But in some rare cases, such as a neighbor’s house being above your grade and close to your home, or a backyard with a big hill sloping towards the house, it may not be possible. In these scenarios, you should consider installing an outside french drain to funnel the water to the street.
Inspect & repair your roof
If your roof is older, or you’ve had previous hail storms or violent winds, it may be the case you have sections of your roof that will not be able to shed water and keep it out of your attic. Have a professional roofer inspect your roof every couple of years or after severe weather. The typical cost to repair a damaged roof is around $500, much less than the cost of hiring a water damage restoration company to dry out and repair a home that has suffered a class 3 water loss.
While these are just some of the things that can go wrong and cause flooding damage to your home, following the steps above can go a long way in helping prevent future water losses that would require expensive emergency water restoration services!