Common Causes of Residential Water Damage
40%. That’s the percentage of homeowners that have experienced at least some form of residential water damage in their homes. While that seems like a huge percentage, what is even more surprising, is the percentage of water damage that could have been prevented – 98%. Wow, right? Because of this, the professionals here at Kelley Construction feel it’s important to provide a quick checklist for homeowners that will help them assess their home for potential sources.
- Regularly check the plumbing in your home. This is one of the most frequent sources of water damage, especially in homes with aging pipes. As plumbing gets older, it is more susceptible to leaks and blockages. Check for any areas in your home that appear to have sagging, stains, or bulges, as this is usually a tale-tell sign of a leak happening behind the walls. You can also monitor your water usage on your water bill; large unexpected usage spikes may be a sign that there is a leak happening that you aren’t yet aware of, either within your home or in your yard.
- As with older plumbing, appliances are also more susceptible to leaks as they age. The fittings and hoses can get worn out, and drains can become clogged. A great way to make sure that the drains on older appliances stay open is to run a cleaning cycle on a monthly basis (eg. run a load through your dishwasher or clothes washer with just hot water and vinegar.) Most appliances come with owners manuals that will walk you through how to inspect your appliance for leaks, and recommended ways to maintain your appliance to help prevent them. It is a good idea to replace hoses on your washing machines regularly, even with the best care, hoses on appliances can get brittle and cracked easily.
- Get in the habit of checking all the gutters and downspouts around your home. Clogged gutters and downspouts can result in rain water pooling in areas that aren’t well suited for proper drainage, like your window wells and crawl spaces and basements. Simply keeping them free from debris or blockages can save you a lot of headache in the future.
- Check your water pressure. You can do this by purchasing a water pressure gauge at your local hardware store and attaching it to a water faucet outside and turning the water on full force. Residential water pressure is best suited for between 40-70 PSI. If your water pressure exceeds this, it’s a good idea to install a water pressure regulator, which can also be found at most hardware stores.
- Inspect your sump-pump regularly. A failed sump-pump can quickly lead to major water damage in your basement. To ensure that your sump-pump is working properly, make sure that it is always standing up-right, that the discharge vent is free from build up or blockages, and that the outlet pipes are still tightly joined together and are draining at least six feet away from the location.
- At Kelley Construction, we recommend you consider purchasing water detection devices and placing them in areas of your home that are most prone to flooding (think crawl spaces and basements.) While not all flooding can be prevented, water damages can often be severely mitigated if caught early. There are many different types of devices and ways in which the devices can alert you, such as connecting through your home wifi to send you alerts or just by sounding an alarm. Either way, knowing about water in unexpected areas early on can make all the difference in the amount of damage that occurs.