Protect your home from water damage

Published On: February 25, 2019Categories: Plumbing tips

water damageThere’s nothing cheap about water damage. Whether it’s caused by a 500-year flood, a backed up sewer line, a leaking faucet or a burst pipe, water in the wrong place can cause mold and mildew, saturate your subfloors, and contaminate everything it touches. You may not be able to avoid that once-in-a-lifetime flood, but, fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect your home from water damage.

1. Keep an eye on your water bill. Sometimes, a pipe leaks out of view and you may not even be aware of the leak for months. Chances are that your water bill is fairly level from month to month or every quarter, depending on how often you receive a bill. If you see a spike in water consumption, start looking for leaks. Listen closely to the walls in your basement. If you hear a dripping or gurgling sound, you probably have a leaking pipe in the wall. Call us immediately if you detect a leak like this.

2. Keep your gutters clean of leaves and debris. Your gutters direct water away from your foundation. They play an important role in keeping your basement dry. When your gutters get clogged, water overflows the downspouts and runs down your home and pools along your foundation. This is not good at any time of the year, but it can be particularly damaging in winter. Ice dams are common in Northeast Ohio, and ice backing up under your roof can cause enormous damage. So make it a habit to clean out your gutters every fall. This one step can save you from water damage.

3. Maintain your sump pump. Make sure the float is clear of debris. Test it by filling the sump with water until the unit kicks on. Does it clear the sump of water? Does the pump sound like it’s struggling? How old is your sump pump? A new sump pump is relatively inexpensive, so if it’s more than five years old, you may want to replace it. A sump pump failure can lead to water damage throughout your basement.

4. Walk around your home and visually inspect it. Look for wet spots where water is pooling. If your property has drainage problems, you might want to put in a French drain. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos and makes lawn maintenance difficult. And if the water is near your foundation, it can cause damage very quickly. So keep an eye on what’s happening outside as well as inside your house.

5. Have a professional plumber inspect your water heater and plumbing system. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t take off on a cross-country car trip in a 10-year old car without first having a mechanic check it out. Why not be just as cautious about something as important as your plumbing system? This might be the best investment in home maintenance that you can make, and doing so will give you a lot of peace of mind. It pays to make sure your water heater is properly maintained.

Follow these simple steps to protect your home from water damage. And if you have a problem with flooding or burst pipes or leaking faucets, please give us a call. Remember, a leaking faucet is like having your money go down the drain.

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