6 Ways to Prevent Home Water Damage

It’s a fact of life that water backs up, overflows, floods and generally goes where it doesn’t belong – and that can cause major damage to your home.

Here are six problems – and fixes – to some of the most common home water damage problems:

  1. Plumbing failure from frozen, rusted or leaky pipes. Look for any telltale signs of leaks like unusually high water bills, mold or mildew growth, water stains on walls and warm spots on your floor. To prevent frozen pipes, keep your home’s temperature no lower than 55 degrees. Read more about what every homeowner should know about frozen pipes.
  2. Plumbing drain system failures. Drain system failures are more common when your local storm water system is tied to your home’s sewer system. To prevent problems, install a backflow prevention assembly in your drain system. Also, remember to refrain from pouring grease down your drain; instead, let it cool before bagging and trashing it. While grease disposal is a no-brainer, it’s best to seek professional help installing a backflow prevention assembly.
  3. Weak washing machine hoses. Replace hoses every five years – and choose a reinforced steel-braided hose over a less durable rubber hose. And if your washer has seen better days, it might be time to replace the whole thing to prevent bigger issues. Replacing a hose is a moderate job, if you’re somewhat handy. Otherwise, call your plumber.
  4. Water heater failure. Replace the “sacrificial” anode rod that diverts corrosion away from the tank at least once every two years. Also, flush your tank every six months to prevent sediment buildup. (This is especially important if you have hard water.) Read more in our related post: 6 Reasons Why Water Heaters Fail.
  5. Pooling water against the wall of the house. Redirect the water with a waterproof membrane or a French drain (a ditch in the ground inset with a perforated pipe that’s then covered with a layer of gravel). While adding the membrane isn’t a difficult job, a French drain installation is best left to the pros.
  6. Weak roof coverings that allow rainwater seep in. Seal your roof to add an extra barrier against the water. Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive things a homeowner will encounter, so it’s also a good idea to understand what your homeowners policy covers when it comes to a damaged roof. This job can be difficult as well as dangerous, so leave any roof sealing jobs to a licensed roofer.

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Hanna Heller