Water leaks are some of the most common homeowner emergencies. If not handled as soon as possible, they can become some of the most costly homeowner emergencies! How can you prevent them from happening? Follow these five tips to stop leaks, floods, and other causes of water damage!
Inspect Your Plumbing Regularly
Every year, you should make sure the basics of your home’s plumbing and drainage system are in working order. If you see leaks in any pipes, noticeably higher humidity, or mould growth, you must act fast and perform the necessary repairs. But these inspections don’t stop at the pipes!
Your home should have a sump pump; bring in a plumber to check it now and then. Think about adding a power backup like a battery-operated pump so that the sump pump works in the event of a power failure. If your neighbourhood is at risk of sewage backups, install a backflow valve. It can prevent the water from a municipal sewer from overflowing into your basement.
Check Appliance Connections
Over time, hoses and their connections can crack, bulge, rust, and corrode. If they break, water can gush out – and you won’t always be ready if it does. To prevent water damage from your appliances, check on and repair connections to your washing machine, dishwasher, and refrigerator (if you have an ice maker or water filter attached to it).
Keep Your Gutters Clean
Cleaning the gutters is a classic seasonal chore, but it’s necessary to prevent home water damage. If left unattended, your gutters can become clogged with dead leaves, branches, and even birds nests. All these block the ability of water to flow off the roof and away from your foundation. During heavy rains or when snow begins to melt, water that is blocked will flow over the sides of the gutter, sending water through weaknesses in your roof or into your foundation.
When checking the gutters, look at your downspouts, too! Be sure that they extend at least two metres away from your foundation. Watch the water flow out, checking that it doesn’t flow back toward your house (or onto your neighbour’s property!). It should always move away from your home and toward a street, backyard, or alley.
Keep Pipes From Freezing
Leaving pipes unheated or water remaining in outdoor water hoses during the winter means ice can form. When water does this, it expands, and it can seriously damage your pipes. Once they break, they could release water, damaging your walls, floors, ceilings, and belongings.
Before winter starts, drain outdoor hoses and turn off the faucets. Throughout the winter, keep temperatures warm enough in every room in your house. You can also install a freeze-proof faucet; this kind has a special valve preventing ice from forming in the pipes.
Pay Attention To Your Water Bill!
For homeowners who aren’t professional plumbers, one of the best ways to know if there’s a leak is taking a closer look at your water bill. If the amount owing jumps significantly from one month to the next, take it as a sign you need an inspection. There could be a leak in your crawlspace, a pipe below your lawn, or behind a wall. The problem might not make itself noticeable – until it’s too late.