July 22, 2014

Several tips to protect your home from water damage

Water damage can do more than just cause unsightly stains in your home; it can also cause significant damage to its structural integrity. Generally, water damage caused by infrequent maintenance, deterioration or general neglect isn’t covered by your insurance. But no need to worry, proper home maintenance can help you to prevent costly damage to your home.

Check your gutters


Check your gutters

Gutters are one of the most common causes of water damage, because when they are overflowing they pour water onto the ground next to a home’s foundation. As part of a regular maintenance routine, you should remove debris such as leaves from your gutter. Depending on your home and the amount of nearby trees, clean your gutters at least twice a year.

Inspect your downspouts

Inspect your downspouts

Inspect your downspouts to ensure that they are connected and pointing away from the foundation. To ensure adequate drainage, downspouts should extend at least 9/10 feet from your property. If downspouts are positioned too close to your home, the damp can erode the soil around its homes foundation. This can result in the cracking of walls and ceilings, allowing significant amounts of water to seep in through hairline cracks.

Check your sump pump


Check your sump pump

Checking your sump pump now will prevent further problems down the line. Sump pumps are often forgotten about – and subsequently stay out of mind, until they fail. A fully functional sump pump is crucial for keeping your basement and crawlspace dry. The primary function of a sump pump is to pump ground water from heavy rain out of the sump pit (located in the basement) and away from your properties foundation. Not checking your sump pump can lead to significant flood damage, so it’s paramount that you test it regularly.

Keep an eye out for rust or pipe corrosion

Keep an eye out for rust or pipe corrosion

Check for signs of pipe corrosion rust, this is especially important if you have an older home. If you notice any unusual odours or noises coming from the pipes, this could be a sign that they need examining. If you do decide to have your pipes examined, make sure you choose a reputable plumber who can examine the plumbing and take care of any repairs.

Inspect your hot water tank

Inspect your hot water tank

This should be done at least once every two months. Any maintenance should be in accordance to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If your tank is over 10 years old, it’s recommended that you get it inspected by a professional. A leaking hot water tank can lead to severe water damage and significantly increase your utility bills.

Pay attention to your roof

Pay attention to your roof

This is especially important if you have an older home. Check your attic for water damage or leakages, if you notice any water stains on your walls or ceiling, it’s quite likely that you need repairs.  Also check the flashings on your roof. These are the metal pieces that cover interruptions in the roof plane.  If your flashing appears damaged, it should be fixed immediately as faulty flashing can lead to infrastructure rot and a host of other serious damp problems.

Also check for cracked or missing roof shingles. It’s important that any damaged or missing roof shingles are replaced so that water is prevented from seeping under the shingles and rotting the wood beneath. Remember, the primary function of a roof is to act as a shelter for you and your belongings, so it’s vital that any problems are resolved immediately.

Waterproof your basement


Waterproof your basement

To protect the structural integrity of your property, it’s important that you waterproof your basement. Damp basements are often home to mildew and mold. These are fungi that can lead to numerous health issues including allergies, breathing problems and headaches. By waterproofing your basement you can also increase the value of your property and significantly lower your energy costs. It may seem like an expensive home improvement at first, but in the long run it can save you a lot of money in damage repairs.
This article was contributed by David at Protectahome Waterproofing

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