Water damage can cost homeowners thousands of dollars, however many cases of water damage which occur could have been prevented if the homeowner had followed a few simple steps. If you want to minimise your chances of experiencing water damage, then you should follow these preventative tips.
Know where your stopcock is
The stopcock (or water shut off valve) is one of the most important things in your home, however many homeowners admit that they do not even know where the valve is. This tiny tap is normally in the kitchen but can be elsewhere in your home. If you discover an uncontrollable water leak in your home, you may need to switch the water off temporarily. This can be done using the stopcock. Shutting the water off can prevent any more water from leaking, and will thusly prevent water damage. Make sure that your water shut off valve is in working order (and has not seized up) by testing it every six months.
Protect your pipes
Water damage is often caused by broken or blocked pipes, which can flood the house. In winter, pipes are liable to burst if water is able to freeze in them. When the weather starts to get colder, keep your heating on at a minimal temperature, even when you are out, as this can prevent the pipes from getting so cold that the water in them freezes. You can also protect your pipes by being mindful about what you pour down the sink. For example, if you pour liquid fat into the sink, it can harden within the pipes and this will cause blockages. This can cause the pipes to overflow or burst. In the bathroom, congealed soap and hair can also cause problems.
Fix up your garden or yard
Making a few alterations to your garden or yard can help to protect your home from flooding risks. Making sure that your garden slopes down away from your house, rather than towards your house will help water to run off safely during heavy rain. Have a drainage channel near the house which will take excess water towards a drain, rather than allowing it to stand near the building’s foundations. In fall and winter, ensure that these channels are not blocked by leaves or mud, or else they could channel water towards your home, instead of away.
Maintain your roof and guttering
Regularly inspect your roof for missing tiles. When one tile is missing, it means that it is easier for other tiles to come off as well. One of the most common causes of water damage to the ceiling and roof insulation of homes is missing tiles, which could have been replaced straight away. It is a good idea to check your tiles after major storms, but you should make it part of your routine to check regularly, even in good weather. You should also check your guttering to make sure that it has not been blocked by leaves or rubbish. Blocked guttering can easily overflow.