How to Prevent Water Damage in Case of an Accident

Warning Traffic Sign On Flooded RoadPreventing water damage is certainly more cost effective than paying for it after the fact. The proper preparation can ensure that your home stays protected and may even add value to your home. Here are some of the best prevention techniques.

Keep the Digestive System of Your Home in Good Shape.

The drainage system in your home equates to the body's digestive system - it is how the house removes gunk before it has a chance to invade the insides. Problems with your drainage system that are left unchecked will eventually make their way into your foundation, creating huge, inviting pathways for water damage. Make sure to clean your gutters on a routine basis. Give them a special treatment after a storm. Downspouts should move water 10 feet away from your real estate. Sloping your yard about half a foot over the same 10 foot span should reduce the ability of water to pool near your foundation. Be especially careful that you have this slope if you have crawl spaces. This is likely the least expensive of your preventive measures, and it gives you the best return!

Fix Water Leaks Immediately.

No matter how small the leak, fix it as soon as you see it! Leave a leak alone for too long and you could be subjecting your home to mildew and mold, and in a worst case scenario, termites. Checking for leaks is an art form in and of itself, although it can be done with no professional help. First of all, look for any dark spots that may appear under your sink cabinet pipes. If these look good, check your ceiling for water stains and your toilets if they rock. If you see a drip coming from anywhere, find the source immediately. You may need professional help for this, but it is well worth it. Finally, inspect your roof annually. If you see a shingle that is loose, damaged or missing, make its repair a priority. Repair caulking leaks as well if you see them.

Is Your SumpĀ Pump Working?

If your sump pump is not working when a storm hits, you are too late. Checking this essential part of your home annually is a great way to reduce the risk of water damage, especially if you live in an area that hasĀ intense storms. Test the sump pump using the following procedure:
  1. Fill the pump with water slowly. Watch for the "float." This will activate the pump, and the water level should fall.
  2. Use the same testing technique on your backup pump. However, be sure to unplug the main pump before initiating the test.
  3. If your home does not have a backup and is running on the municipal water system, then you will need to get a pump that relies on water pressure to run. In the rare case that your house is running on well water, then you will need to invest in a battery pump.
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