Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home
Water damage is something no one wants to deal with, large or small. It can reek havoc in your home or business, and the cleanup required can be both time consuming and expensive, especially in cases where large areas are effected, or damage that later results in mold. When water damage occurs, it not only compromises part, if not all, of the structure of the dwelling, but the furnishings, appliances, collectibles and a number of other things.
Many times water damage comes from leaky or busted water pipes in a bathroom or kitchen. In the bathroom, there are a few simple things you can do to possibly prevent future problems. For one thing, if you don't have an exhaust fan, install one. Steam and humidity that results from your baths and showers provide a perfect environment for mold to grow; exhaust fans will control this. Also, watch for stains or spots forming on the walls that could indicate leaking pipes behind the sheet rock or other wall coverings. You might want to repair the grout or chalking around your tub, shower, or toilet that is beginning to get loose, especially if you are noticing small puddles of water around these areas.
Though you cannot see below the tiles, the moisture could be causing damage to the wood flooring beneath. If this is happening, it could also be a breeding ground for wood damaging insects. One other thing you definitely need to do is check the pipes located under the counters in not only the bathroom, but kitchen as well. Since you have to get down on your knees and move items that may be stored in front of, or under them, you don't know there is a problem until it is too late. If you see the fittings, or the pipes are getting rusty and worn, you should replace them.
Here are a few significant and handy protection tips:
- Check to make sure the water hoses running from the washing machine are in good repair
- Dishwashers should be checked regularly as they have a high potential to leak. Installing steel braided hoses on appliances may be worth looking into.
- Pipes and connections should be checked regularly
- Avoid flushing foreign objects down the toilet
- Remember to clean out roof gutters as this is a major cause of water damage
If water damage has already occurred, here are some tips to help minimize damage:
- Turn off the source of the water intrusion
- Remove furniture and rugs off the floor or they may leave permanent stains
- Avoid lifting up carpets from edges as this may cause shrinkage which is virtually impossible to repair.
- Use foil to put between furniture legs and carpet
- Wipe down your furniture
- Don't use an ordinary vacuum cleaner to suck up water
- Put down towels and mop to soak up excess water
- Turn on air conditioning to dehumidify air and turn on fans (if safe to do so)
- Call an IICRC qualified water damage business as soon as possible.