Dealing with water damage in your home is extremely stressful. Whether you were hit by a flash flood or had a pipe burst, restoring your property after severe water exposure won’t be easy. Large volumes of water can cause moisture to linger within your home. Wood and cement can remain damp and eventually because producing mold spores. Black mold is a common side effect that homes suffer from following water damage.
To remedy the situation, homeowners oftentimes have to replace everything, even the drywall. It’s an expensive renovation endeavor and is not for the faint of heart. For homeowners that can’t turn back time and are faced to deal with their damaged property, one option is selling the home. You can easily sell a water-damaged house by finding the right buyer. While most owner-occupant buyers get nervous about water damage, house flippers get excited.
For homeowners that want to avoid both situations altogether, here are 3 surefire ways to prevent water damage in your home.
1. Maintain Roof
When it rains, it pours. For homeowners that live in an area with heavy rain or snowfall, maintaining your roof is essential to preventing water damage. Even the tiniest hole in your roof can lead to a massive burst of water through your ceiling. It doesn’t take a large hole for water to seep into your property.
Once rainfall gets through your ceiling, it can damage drywall. Most roof leak instances require homeowners to cut out damaged drywall in the ceilings and walls. Saving moist drywall is extremely rare. Plus, you want to avoid moisture build-up because that can lead to black mold issues.
How do homeowners prevent roof leaks? Noticing a hole in your roof before a water leak occurs is nearly impossible unless you are properly maintaining your roof. Start by regularly checking on your roof via a ladder every month. From the ground, you won’t notice much. However, once you’re high enough to see the entire roof, problem areas will be easier to spot. Of course, practice safety when operating a ladder and climbing on top of your roof.
Fix any holes in your roof that you see immediately. Depending on the material your roof is made of, you can use that same material to fix the weak area. Another part of the roof that is often left to the wayside by homeowners is the gutters. If gutters clog, it can allow water and debris to build up on top of the roof. Eventually, this weight can damage the roofing material and create a hole that water will leak into. Maintain your entire roof, including your gutters, to prevent water damage in your home.
2. Finish the Basement
Basements are another common area of the home where moisture builds up and water damage occurs. For example, if you have an unfinished basement, water from floods will have easier access into your property through the basement walls. Even if most of the basement is made of concrete, that doesn’t mean it’s completely dry-sealed.
An unfinished basement is also vulnerable to flooding and water damage from neighbors. The root cause doesn’t necessarily need to be a natural disaster or flood. If your neighbor’s irrigation system breaks or sewer pipes burst, water could seep unground from their property to yours. This can lead to water buildup in your basement and eventually water damage. Unfinished basements can be drained and dried if large amounts of water enter them. However, any nearby wooden beams on the ceiling or drywall can easily get permanently damaged.
You can prevent water damage in your basement by finishing it with materials that are more immune to moisture. There are specific waterproofing materials that you can add to your finished basement as protection. Not only is it protected when finishing a basement properly, but it also becomes a usable room to spend time in.
3. Monitor Plumbing
Plumbing issues are a major cause of water damage in residential homes. Especially if you live in an older home, the plumbing could be on its last leg without you even knowing. Pipe leaks can happen slowly or very fast. For slow pipe leaks, you can usually identify them once water spots appear in the drywall. Another common sighting of a plumbing leak is when the flooring around your toilet or shower becomes soft or bubbly.
Extreme pipe leaks happen fast. There isn’t much you can do to prevent them once they’ve happened. However, there are ways to avoid plumbing leaks from the start.
Complete an inspection of your home’s current piping infrastructure. This can include things like running a sewer scope through your sewer line to check for any potential small cracks or clogs. Ruptured sewer lines are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. This renovation usually requires you to dig up the sewer line, replace it, and then bury it again. If there is concrete in your way, you’ll need to jackhammer that and then replace the concrete too. It’s not a cheap renovation!
Prevent this water damage from occurring by checking and monitoring your home’s existing plumbing. You can catch pipe breaks before they happen by unclogging pipe jams or repairing small cracks. Be proactive versus reactive when it comes to peak leaks. It will cost you time, and sometimes money, upfront. However, the money and frustration that you’ll save in the long run are almost always worth it. Be diligent and prevent water damage in your home with these proactive tips.