How to Help Prevent Water Leaks
We’ve all seen the footage of devastation caused by flooding and we have certainly prepared a few reinstatement specifications for severely flood damaged properties so it is hardly surprising to hear that any sort of water leak in the home can cause serious problems. What is quite surprising, and worrying, however, is how small a water leak can be and still cause a lot of damage. Many people have tiny water leaks that they are unaware of for a very long time until suddenly it becomes a big problem. Here is a bit of advice on how to prevent different types of water damage in the home ranging from the big gushing dramatic water leaks to the little tiny ones that creep in and do damage on the sly!
Prevent Water Coming in From Outside
A very obvious place for water to come into your property is through the roof. That’s why it is a good idea to regularly check to make sure this isn’t happening. On the outside of the house, look out for broken roof tiles or other obvious damage and check the flashing around the chimney is intact. Inside, you need to look inside your attic to see if you can spot damp areas on the joists or tea coloured stains on the plasterwork.
Check guttering for damage and blockages because water running down the sides of your house like that can easily find its way in.
Water comes in from the top but it also comes in from the bottom as people with basements and cellars know only too well. That is why it is advisable to check your sump pump is working (if you have one) so that you can remove any water that finds its way in during times of heavy rain.
Stop Sudden Serious Floods Inside
Burst pipes can cause absolute devastation so you really want to do whatever you can to prevent them happening. Insulate any exposed pipes and keep heating systems at a temperature high enough to stop them freezing even if you are going to be out of the house. If your house is going to be empty for an extended period of time, it is worth draining the water system and shutting off the water to the house (to prevent legionella and other water based nasties as well as pipes bursting). Because it’s impossible to entirely prevent this kind of thing from happening, make sure you and your household know where the stopcock is so you can turn off the water supply to the house if it does start pouring out from somewhere to minimise the damage.
Lessen the Chances of those Sneaky Water Leaks
It sounds obvious but a good way to stop minor water leaks becoming a problem is to see if you can spot them early. Check around sinks and appliances like washing machines and dishwashers to see if you can see water pooling where it shouldn’t be. Water leak detection devices are also a thing and they aren’t too expensive so it is worth getting one which either automatically switches off the water when it detects a leak or sends an alert to your phone (these later ones are often handy additions if you already have a smart home system). Lastly, keep an eye (and nose) out for damp. Flaking paint or peeling wallpaper, darkened patches of paintwork or mottling on architraves, skirting boards and window sills can all indicate damp as can that distinctive musty smell. If the source of the damp isn’t obvious, it is worth calling in an expert to try to find it and deal with it before it causes damage.
The old adage that, ahem, ‘stuff’ happens is indeed true so, sadly, it’s not possible to guarantee you won’t have water damage in your home but these measures will help lessen the likelihood. If ‘stuff’ does happen and you find yourself needing to deal with your insurance company or need a reinstatement specification written up, we can help. Please feel free to give us a call on 01273 281624 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.