Monday, October 8, 2012

Doing Regular Checks and Maintenance Will Help Prevent Water Damage

No homeowner wants to deal with fixing flood or water damage in their home. The best way to stop flood damage from ever happening is to take the necessary steps to check for potential leaks and complete the necessary home maintenance that will not only keep the home in good condition, but keep water intrusion out of it! Here is a basic list of tasks homeowners should do to decrease their chances of water damage occurring in their home.

• At least every 3-5 years, replace washing machine hoses. It's important to check occasionally to make sure there is not moisture around the ends of the hose because that is a good indication there may be cracks.

• Check the water heater and see if there are areas of rust on the tank or if there is a wet area on the floor nearby. If you feel any moisture when touching the water heater, that is a sign that it may have a leak.

• If water is not drained properly, it can cause wood structures to rot around the roof. A leaky roof can definitely cause water damage so it's important to keep gutters free from debris like leaves and rocks that can get in the way of water draining from the roof. You might want to purchase a roof preservative to keep the amount of water your roof takes in to a minimum.

• Be sure to add a thin metal strip around doors, windows, chimneys and roofs (called flashing) to prevent water from seeping in at the point where two different building surfaces meet.

• Check all vents to make sure they have hoods, exhaust to the outside, are all in working order and have boots. Check drain pans of your air conditioner to make sure they drain freely and that no standing water is present. Make sure drain lines are clear and there is no obstruction. Have a professional do a spring check-up of your air conditioning unit before using it for the first time in that season.

• Check the materials between bricks, pipes and other building materials, known as expansion joints, to make sure they are in good condition otherwise water can come in. If there are cracks in the joint sealant, you will need to put in a backer rod and fill it with new sealant.

• Check wood siding and sheathing and see if there is any water damage. Make sure any wood-sided walls have at least 8" between any wood and the ground.

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