How To Protect Your Home Against Water Damage in 9 Steps

How to protect your home against water damage in 9 steps

One of the most common causes of major property loss is water damage. It is important to stay on top of your maintenance efforts. Preparing for the winter is a given, but most homes are left unattended during the summer periods. These oversights can cause unidentified leaks and cause extensive damage to your home and property within it. Most of us have savings set aside for a rainy day. The truth is, water damage is not something most people have a budget for. The best course of action is to be proactive. It is to protect your home with regular check-ups and maintenance. If caught early, we can prevent serious damage. We can proactively deal with certain damage types that are beyond any reasonable and affordable repair. The thing is, leaks will occur eventually. It is up to us to stop it as soon as possible causing further damage. 

1.    Spotting The Signs of Water Damage

Water can be an insidious problem. It can seep into walls, underneath roofs, basement corners, etc. These are the signs that are easy to spot if we just have a look around. Unfortunately, other ones are not so easy to spot. We have to pay attention to certain occurrences and smells that we might not initially link to water issues. If you spot sagging walls or ceiling tiles, this can be a clear indicator of heavy water presence. If it reaches your foundations, your floors can appear warped. Stains on our walls and floors will follow at some point. If your paint starts to peel for no apparent reason, water is the culprit. If your home smells musty and stuffy, maybe you just need to air it out more. Or maybe, water got into your walls and is creating mould. Spot these problems in time and act. 

2.   The Main Causes

What are some of the main causes of water damage? If we can understand this, we can act upon it before any damage can occur. Identifying the cause of a certain water leak can be tricky. A cause can be human in nature, or not. Also, it can be an unfortunate combination of both. It can be a thunderstorm that makes a hole in your roof. On the other hand, it can be caused by the misuse of gardening tools. A faulty kitchen or bathroom appliance can also cause great internal damage. There are a plethora of possibilities. Here are some of the most common sources of water damage. Extreme weather like thunderstorms and floods are the first things that come to mind. Faulty and old pipes. Drainage issues, malfunctioning, water-based appliances like washing machines and dishwashers. And there are many more to count in this article. 

3.   Protecting Your Home From Water Damage

Many factors go into protecting our homes from water damage. Basically, every house is unique in some aspect. And depending on these particularities, the best way to combat these types of occurrences is also going to be unique. The most often common denominator is your house exterior. Most water ingress will come from the outside. It is your first line of defence against the most common types of water damage. If you protect your home from the outside elements, you will probably never experience water ingress. On the other side, we will not neglect the internal sources that may cause problems. The general rule is still the same; regular proactive maintenance and repairs. It is the way we treat these different elements that differ. Here, we will cover some of the most common types of malfunctions that can cause water damage and how to prevent them.

4.   The Roof

The Roof

The primary purpose of any roof, since the dawn of humanity, is to protect us from the immediate external elements like rain. Roofs were made to prevent water from entering a domicile. Not looking after it can cause some of the worst types of damage to your home. If your roof has holes in it, water will eventually seep into your structure, walls, and your foundation. At this point, making repairs can get very cost-prohibitive. Keep in mind that most roofs have a lifespan of about 20-30 years. Having said that, it does not mean that there will be no need for maintenance during that period. Weather conditions, nearby trees and the climate can cause damage to your roof. Make an effort to periodically inspect your roof for any damaged, loose or missing shingles. Replace and repair accordingly. This is the most inexpensive way to keep water out of the house.

5.   Gutters


Gutters serve to collect rainwater from your roof and direct it towards an outlet. These experience water erosion for decades. They can get old and damaged before you know it. Gutters actually protect other parts of your house. Without them, rain would drop from your roof straight to the foundation of your house. The downside of gutters and downspouts is that they tend to get blocked and clogged. Ask yourself, when was the last time you cleaned them? Debris will get caught in them very quickly. Most commonly it is the combination of leaves and sticks from the surrounding trees. Not most people know this, but debris that falls from outer space also gets accumulated over time. Now is the best time to clean your gutters and get rid of that space dust. If you live in a storm-prone area, you may need to tighten your cleaning schedules. 

6.   Door and Window Sealing and Insulation

Door and Window Sealing and Insulation

Windows and doors are the most common vulnerability to any home when it comes to water leakage, right next to your roof. Those can leak through the cracks caused by old, worn-out insulation. Door frames and window frames need to always be properly sealed. Not only will it prevent leakage, but it will also pay dividends down the line in heating bills. Do not wait for a leak to occur, windows and doors need to be inspected on both the interior and the exterior side. If there are large cracks that weather-stripping and seals will not be able to seal, use insulating foam sealants. Other leaks can be prevented by applying caulking in the appropriate place. Lastly, protect the windows themselves. Apply a fresh coat of paint in the summer to prepare them for a harsh winter. For wooden windows, apply a wood protector to prevent rot or dryness.

7.   The Interior: Pipes

The Interior: Pipes

Now we will move on to the interior causes of water leakage in our houses. The convention is to check your pipes once a year. If you live in a wet or cold climate, it is advised to check them even more frequently. Pipes will last a long time, depending on the way they were made and the materials used. But they will decay at some point. They will inevitably become rusty and will corrode after decades of use. This will naturally cause water leaks. There are more cases where pipe malfunction will expedite pipe deterioration like flooding or influxes of raw sewage. Professionals like Canberra plumbers make short work out of these chores. Sometimes, it can get quite intricate when it comes to pipe repair and maintenance. Often enough, it takes professionals to adequately do the job.

8.  Water and Electricity 

As we all know, water and electricity do not go well together. If you live in rain and thunderstorm-heavy area, make sure that your electrical is well-insulated. Your fuse box needs to always be dry and far away from the outside elements. Ensure that the sockets are covered. Any external wall plugs need to follow the proper IP ratings. This depends heavily on the local electrical code. Pay special attention to the bathroom because this is where water and electricity meet daily. Air out your bathrooms regularly to prevent moisture from seeping into the walls and turning into mould. Appliances require special care. Water will erode them over time, which could short-circuit said appliances. In extreme cases, water can paradoxically cause fires. If water causes sparks in your electrical, it can lead to fires and loss of property.  

9.   The Basement

The basement is the last area that we will cover in this article. It is no less important than any of the previous points. Basements are also very susceptible to water-induced damage. Which makes sense because it is underground, after all. Water drains into the earth, and it surrounds all of our basements. Accumulated flood water or moisture can cause seepage in your basement. In turn, this can cause mould on walls and damage to the foundation of the entire house. Be careful to regularly reseal and waterproof your basement to avoid such issues. It will prevent cracks in the walls and increase resistance against accumulated moisture. Make sure that there are proper channels to redirect the flow of water as far away from the foundations of the house as possible. If you do not trust the local sewage, there are also backwater valves that you can install.
Rainwater and external elements, in general, can be a serious concern for many homeowners. The prospect of a malfunction will always be there. But, we can do our best to minimize the probability of one causing damage. Being proactive is the name of the game. Do not let your home fall into disrepair, perform regular maintenance and check-ups. Hire professionals for intricate tasks like plumbing and electricity. Do whatever your home must remain as dry and fresh as possible for years to come. 

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