Water damage: Prevention
A water leak can cause severe damage to a building. Most water leaks can be prevented by taking the proper precautionary measures. Most water leaks are the result of the aging of a buildings’ roof, plumbing system and appliances. A homeowner must make regular routine inspections to avoid expensive water damage resulting from an unexpected leak. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way in avoiding expensive repairs.
Inspect the roof of the building at least twice a year. Wind, rain and corrosion all take their toll on roofing materials. Patch and repair damaged areas. A wide variety of roof repair and patching materials are available at the local hardware or building supply store. Check the area around roof vents and air conditioners for signs of aging and cracking around the seal. Caulk or use a roof sealer or patching material to seal the edges around the vents and air conditioners.
Appliances are an often overlooked source of leaking water. Check the water lines on the washing machine, and the refrigerator ice maker. Inspect the rubber water lines to the washing machine and look for signs of deterioration, such as cracks. It is a good idea to replace the rubber hoses with the more durable steel braided water lines. Inspect the water line behind the refrigerator that runs to the ice-maker. Make sure that the hose is not kinked and that the water shut-off valve is working properly.
Plumbing leaks can cause major water damage quickly. Inspect the water lines and drains leading to sinks, faucets and toilets. Look for signs of leaking water. Replace lines and drains as necessary. The hot water heater is a common source of plumbing leaks. Inspect the anode rod in the water heater about once a year. Replace the anode rod if it is showing signs of corrosion. Drain and flush the hot water heater on an annual basis.