5 Tips to Prevent Water Damage in your Home

Jim Bauer Home Maintenance and Repair

Water DamageThe easiest water damage to repair is the water damage that never happens, but what is Water Damage and how do you prevent it? Recognizing what it is and that it can cause a devastating setback to families or businesses is a great place to start; at Puroclean Restoration Specialists, our mission is to whatever it takes to give back that sense of security with minimal disruption.

While water damage restoration specialists are at your service with the specialized tools and expertise to remediate damage 24 hours a day, water damage prevention is an even better strategy. Municipal water enters the supply lines of a typical residence anywhere from 40 to 60 p.s.i. of pressure. A 1/8-inch crack in a supply line is sufficient to release about 250 gallons of water in just 24 hours. The total rupture of a pipe can inundate your premises with thousands of gallons of liquid destruction. Water damage of this magnitude not only ruins personal possession; it can compromise wooden structural components, permanently foul electrical circuits and even undermine the foundation of the house.

The extent of the water damage problem is evident in statistics: water damage now accounts for 22 percent of property insurance losses. Water damage is second only to fire as a reason for property damage claims, and the average water damage claim is over $5,000. Where a supply line ruptures totally, that amount can be in the tens of thousands. Here are five ways to prevent the worst from happening.

1. Have Leaks Promptly Repaired

Nagging pinhole leaks in copper or galvanized supply lines may seem little more than an annoyance. You may hope they’ll go away by themselves. Call a qualified plumber, instead. Pinhole leaks in supply lines are often a red flag of initial water damage. An inconspicuous leak on the exterior of a supply pipe under pressure may be the sign of internal deterioration. This could trigger a catastrophic rupture at any time, inundating the premises with hundreds of gallons of water.

2. Check your Water Heater

Water heaters have an average expected service life of only 10 years. Minor leakage from the tank often indicates internal corrosion that may eventually culminate in a total tank rupture, releasing an ongoing flood until the water supply is shut off. Scheduling a professional plumber to conduct an annual water heater inspection as well as flush the tank is a good preventive strategy.

3. Replace Washing Machine Supply Hoses

Standard rubber hoses that supply cold and hot water to a washer can age and crack, making eventual rupture likely. Knowing how to prevent a washing machine leak is vital. Since these hoses are directly connected to supply valves, breakage could inundate the house with water under pressure. If it happens while you’re not home—or even worse, out of town for a few days—water damage could be substantial. Replace standard rubber hoses with braided stainless steel for longer, more reliable life. Also, turn off the water supply to the washer at the wall valves if you are going out of town.

4. Prevent Frozen Pipes

It doesn’t take extreme cold to have frozen pipes. Knowing how to prevent frozen pipes is key. In fact, most damaging pipe ruptures due to freezing happen in southern regions where plumbing isn’t adequately protected against temperature dips below 20 or 30 degrees. Insulate exposed spans of water supply lines and seal any gaps in the structure that allow frigid outdoor air to contact plumbing in the walls, under the house, or anywhere else. If you suspect a frozen pipe during a period of low temperatures, don’t wait for it to thaw to discover it has ruptured. Call a professional right away.

5. Know How to Shut Off the Water Supply

If a catastrophic pipe breakage occurs, all adults in the household should know where the main shutoff valve is located and how to turn it off.  A wrench or other required tool should be kept in a designated spot. Test operate your valve to make sure it rotates freely. If not, have a plumber investigate.

Inspecting Your Home

Don’t wait until there’s a disaster to make home improvements. Inspecting your home regularly can be one of the best ways to prevent water damage.