Water damage is one of the worst unexpected issues to have in the home. It’s not as dangerous as the risk of fire, of course, but it is more pervasive, just as damaging to your home and your possessions and often it takes longer to spot. For that reason, it’s important to be aware of the risks of water damage and make sure you’re doing regular checks to ensure they’re not having too much of an influence in the home.
Obviously, the vast majority of water damage is going to be caused by leaks in your plumbing. You can do some preventative maintenance yourself, such as unclogging a drain and learning to replace rubber washers in faucets so they’re less likely to seize up and break. But make sure you’re checking spaces like under the kitchen and bathroom sinks for any signs of water damage and if you can’t visually identify sources of a damp smell in the home, contact the plumber.
If the cold’s allowed to settle in those pipes too much, then you could be in for a much more violent kind of water damage. Burst pipes happen when pipes contract and expand due to freezing, so prevent that from happening. Insulate all the pipes in the home and if you have to leave during particularly cold days, keep a little water running so the pipes are constantly active.
Water doesn’t just come from your pipes, it can pour in from the heavens, too. Roof leaks are dangerous, because not only can they lead to rotting ceilings and insulation in the attic, they are often hard to spot. Make sure you take a quick inspection of the roof every year just before the worse weather seasons. Check your gutters seasonally as well. Missing and cracked tiles aren’t the only source of roof leaks. Blocked gutters mean that water doesn’t get disposed of properly and often it will find a weak point in the roof or wall to seep inside, instead.
Corrosion of pipes in the home can lead to blockages while will eventually lead to failure and leaks. Radiators and central heating systems are the most likely and most dangerous culprits of corrosions, but fire sprinkler corrosion is a real concern as well. It’s important to get them checked out annually. In the case of sprinklers, remember that failing to look after them isn’t just a water damage risk, it’s a real fire risk as well.
Home appliances like fridges and washing machines can cause leaks as well. Sometimes, this is down to their own corrosion or simply because they’re older items that need to be replaced. But you can troubleshoot your home appliances to find smaller issues like blockages that can cause leaks as well, so you don’t necessarily have to throw them out.
If you suspect water damage, act on it immediately. It can be hugely costly to get it repaired and often you have to leave your home while specialists recover your possessions and try fix the damage.