How to Prevent Water Damage to Your Home

Water damage is an event that most homeowners are desperate to avoid. Water is only intend to be within the build up structure in a master sense—in supply pipes, drain pipes, sinks, and basins. Never should urine run unabated in crawlspaces, basements, floors, or walls. The effective news is that bare repairs can help you avoid everything from minor water price on up to major urine damage that necessitates expensive contractor work .

How Does Water Damage Homes ?

Water damage is not always the result of dramatic events like hurricanes and floods. Homes often are ruined by pinhole-sized leaks in pipes, ill graded soil, blocked gutters, or a cesspool pump that refuses to turn on. much water damage results from easily curable flaws that most do-it-yourselfers can fix well in promote of a problem.

Water damage in a house can be sincerely black. Left unchecked, even a boring leak will rot out wallboard and stud, create blacken mildew, and finally dampen major structural elements like joists and beams. Stopping leaks before that beginning cliff of water starts is the best way to prevent water price .

financially, water wrong can affect your bank report, a well. Homeowners policy may cover much of the cost of repairs. even thus, deductibles and coverage limits mean that homeowners will however need to pay out-of-pocket for repairs. A better solution is to address potential problems well in advance .

condom Considerations

A few of the suggested repairs and inspections require you to be on your home ‘s ceiling. Make sure that you climb to the roof with a hardy ladder, that you have a partner to help you if you slip or fall, and that you wear shoes that are not prone to slipping. You may wish to wear a safety harness when working on the ceiling .

When to Call a professional

If you find it difficult or uncomfortable to undertake ceiling shingle replacement, bull pipe replacement, or lamp chimney haunt, you should call accredited professionals to do the work for you .

project Metrics

  • Total Time: 1 to 2 days of intermittent work
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Material Cost: $50 to $100

What You Will Need

Equipment/Tools

  • Ladder
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Caulking gun
  • Latex or nitrile gloves
  • Hammer

Materials (as Needed)

  • Caulk
  • Downspout extensions
  • 90-degree downspout elbows
  • Replacement shingles
  • Roofing nails
  • Sink P-traps
  • PEX pipes and fittings

serve to the Downspouts

  • Project: Run water through the gutters to make sure that the downspouts are flowing. If necessary, add a 90-degree downspout elbow and a downspout extension to carry the water at least 2 feet or more away from the house.
  • Time: 30 to 60 minutes
  • Tools and Materials: Downspout extension and elbows

Downspouts pick up body of water from the gutters and bring it down the side of the theater. It is a dim-witted concept that works well. But downspouts that end perpendicular to the establish run the risk of thrusting the flow of urine alongside the foundation. Rainwater pushed at such high volumes quickly erodes the dirt around the family and can leak into the home via the initiation, causing major damage .

Gutter Downspout Water Diverter

William Foldes / Getty Images

Fix Cracked or Missing Caulking

  • Project: Caulk areas inside and outside of the house that are cracked or missing caulk.
  • Time: About 1 hour
  • Tools and Materials: Caulking gun and caulk

For short more than the price of a tube or two of exterior-grade caulk, you can eliminate leaks around windows and doors well before they begin .

When the weather is fairly, make a circuit of your home ‘s exterior to look for crack or missing caulk. Pay particular attention to the crown of the window casing, where urine can accumulate .

Any crack that you notice must be filled in ; there is no such thing as a good or satisfactory crack. On the inside, look for tell-tale signs of water escape such as mold spots, bubbled rouge, crumbly wallboard or plaster, or termite activity .

gun with silicon

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Grade the Exterior Soil

  • Project: With a shovel and a rake, move the soil around your home so that it declines a minimum of 5 percent for the first 10 feet.
  • Time: 1 to 2 hours
  • Tools and Materials: Shovel and rake

The ground adjacent to the house is supposed to incline as it nears and touches the basis wall. ground that declines toward the house will result in pool body of water. pool body of water can enter the foundation garment at that item or it can seep down and come up through the basement floor .

The easy and effective solution is to re-grade the territory so that it ramps down aside from the foundation wall. The further you can continue the gradient aside from the house, the better off you will be. Pack down the dirty so that water is encouraged to move along the top of the dirty, not soak into it .

Grading soil

ImageGap / Getty Images

Inspect the Roof

  • Project: Get on the roof and inspect it for loose, broken, missing, or cracked shingles
  • Time: 1 to 2 hours
  • Tools and Materials: Hammer, roofing nails, and shingles

Without a weather-tight ceiling, it is guaranteed that your family will suffer water damage. even short of catastrophic roof crash, ceiling systems can leak in any number of ways. Before inclement weather sets in, set a run against your sign of the zodiac and walk the roof, inspecting and correcting any shingles that may permit water to flow into the sign of the zodiac. besides look for overgrow moss that can work under the shingles and any damage from fallen tree limbs.

Roof moss

Romeo Ninov / Getty Images

clean and Maintain the Gutters

  • Project: Clean the gutters
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Tools and Materials: Ladder

Like the pipes in your house, gutters and downspouts can be thought of as a type of exterior system of pipes that move water off of your ceiling and well away from the foundation. Water spilling over pack gutters erodes territory adjacent to the house and can compromise the foundation. Water leaking through foundation walls can damage walls and floors .

Cleaning your gutters and downspouts once or twice a year is the best way to prevent all of that water price, just for the price of hiring a worker or purchasing an annex ladder .

In winter, clear out ice dams equally soon as they build up. Add internal-combustion engine dam protection to the circumference of your roof to prevent water from backing up and leaking through the roof and into the attic .

Overflowing gutters

Sylvia Schug / Getty Images

Keep Your Drains Healthy and Flowing

  • Project: Inspect under sinks and make sure that drains are not leaking. Repair or replace P-traps.
  • Time: 30 to 60 minutes
  • Tools and Materials: Replacement P-traps

Sinks are meant to capture water and divert it to the sewer main through waste pipes. Every part of that system must function absolutely. If not, effluent will leak into slump cabinets. even worse, ramify lines leading to the drain-waste-vent ( or DWV ) can leak between floors or inside of walls. Keep your sinks and drains in top condition :

  • Avoid pouring grease down drains.
  • Keep drains clear with a regular cleaning schedule.
  • Always keep a strainer in place on sink and shower/tub drains.
  • Frequently clean out the strainer and deposit the debris in the trash, not back down the drain or in the toilet.
  • Make sure that your tub’s overflow drain is draining and not leaking.
  • Regularly check on every drain trap, located in sink cabinets.

Plumber working on sink pipe

vitranc / Getty Images

Inspect and Repair the Chimney

  • Project: Inspect the chimney for loose mortar or cracked bricks. Also, look inside the attic around the chimney area for signs of leakage around the chimney.
  • Time: 1 hour, inspection only
  • Tools and Materials: Ladder and flashlight

Any opening in your home ‘s outer envelope is a likely for escape and water damage. The chimney is a giant opening that is typically not american samoa well weather-sealed as windows or doors. Rain that comes through uncapped chimneys and specially through the sides, past the chimney flash, will cause major wrong in the attic, walls, and floors .

  • Install a chimney cap or make sure that your cap is properly attached.
  • Have a chimney technician or contractor inspect the metal flashing around the chimney to ensure that no water is passing between the flashing and the chimney.
  • Have the chimney mortar repointed and sealed by a qualified mason or do it yourself.
  • Repair cracks in the chimney brick or mortar.

Close-Up Of Brick Chimney On House Roof With Metal Flashing

Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

Monitor Your Water imperativeness for Leaks

  • Project: Check water bills’ history for anomalies such as spikes in usage, comparing these demands on your water supply with past bills to see if they fit in the norm.
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Tools and Materials: Online or paper bills

A more late method acting of checking for water loss is to purchase an electronic water leak detection organization that installs directly on the chief water add line to the home. Sensors monitor water system flow, pressure, and temperature. Leaks and explode pipes are caught before they cause excessively a lot damage. Products such as Flo and FloodMaster can even shut off the water main when this happens .

Water Leak From Pipe

Henrik Sorensen / Getty Images

Maintain the Sump Pump

  • Project: Make sure that the sump pump’s electrical outlet is working and that the pump itself turns on and moves water.
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Tools and Materials: Bucket of water

normally located in the basement or crawl space, a cesspool pump represents your dwelling ‘s concluding cable of defense in the event of rising groundwater or home flood. When the body of water rises in the circular sump pit, the buoyant float triggers the electrically-connected motor, signaling it to start pumping urine out of the home. A sump pump is a lot like a boat ‘s bilge pump : It removes water from where it does n’t belong to a better area .

  • Make sure that your pump is still connected to the GFCI electrical outlet; that the GFCI is actually working; and that the pump will turn on.
  • Ensure that the circuit breaker related to the sump pump GFCI is still flipped on. Newer arc-fault protection circuit breakers may fail. Keep an eye on these breakers and replace them as needed.
  • Since pumps sometimes tilt over by accident, ensure that your sump pump is upright and that the float is working.
  • Check that the sump pump is moving water by pouring water into the sump pit.

Basement sump pump

IcemanJ / Getty Images

switch over From Copper Pipes to PEX Pipes

  • Project: Replace corroded or even solid copper pipes with replacement PEX pipes.
  • Time: Long-term project
  • Tools and Materials: PEX pipes and related fittings

copper pipes, standard in many homes for decades, can develop pinhole leaks, particularly when they historic period out to the twenty-year mark. Like any kind of plumbing articulation, solder bull joints can fail. But even within an unseamed length of copper pipe, corrosion can cause holes that result in mum but steady leaks. These drips will wreak havoc on ceilings and inside of walls .

Changing out copper pipes for corrosion-free plastic PEX pipes ensures that no pinhole leaks will damage your dwelling. Whole-house re-plumbing is invasive and expensive. But you can increasingly change out sections of copper for PEX whenever you have access to a ceiling or ​wall since PEX can be effectively mated with copper. Once you learn how to work with PEX, you will find that it is easy and relatively fast to pull out your PEX-related joyride and materials and replace a section of organ pipe .

PEX, Copper, and SharkBite Fittings

Lee Wallender

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