PROTECTING YOUR HOME FROM COSTLY WATER DAMAGE
You are well aware that water is a necessary part of life. But just because you need water to live, it doesn’t mean your home needs it as well. In fact, water anywhere in or around your home can be a serious problem with costly consequences. You might think that a little bit of water is no big deal. While a small spill isn’t anything to worry about, a burst water pipe, flooded basement, or leaky roof can cost you a fortune. How much exactly? Here are a few things you should know:
Fixing a single leaky or missing shingle can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 (not counting water damage).
A flooded basement will cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 to dry and repair. Factors that contribute to cost include the size of the basement, the severity of the flood, and the length of time the basement was flooded.
A burst water pipe will cost at least $5,000 to fix, and can cost as much as $70,000 in damages.
Homeowners or flood insurance will usually cover water damage costs but not always the full amount (and it depends on the cause as well).
Water damage is a serious problem with potentially serious financial consequences. What can you do to protect your home and prevent problems in the first place? With a few careful additions, steps, and prevention methods, most homeowners can all but eliminate the risk of water damage ruining your home.
BE AWARE, STAY INFORMED
One of the most important things you can do to prevent water damage and save money is to be aware of your home environment and stay informed about what’s around you. What exactly does that mean? Here are a few things you should know:
Know how old your home is, what the pipes are made of, and what type of issues usually plague homes just like yours. If you live in an older home it’s important to know what the pipes are made of (you can find that out by calling a plumbing service, asking the previous homeowner, or hiring an inspector). There are a variety of pipe materials used in new and old homes, and some are more prone to leaks than others.
Be aware of your climate. Do you live somewhere cold and snowy? If so, you might need to insulate your pipes throughout the winter. Without a bit of insulation, exposed pipes can freeze, crack, and burst. As mentioned above, a burst pipe can cost thousands of dollars to fix. But water damage cleanup and repair think the only pipes you need to worry about are those that are exposed; even pipes underneath your home, in your garage, or near outer walls can freeze. Luckily, all it takes is a bit of foam insulation to prevent most problems.
Being aware of the weather problems are common in your area. Weather is perhaps the biggest factor you need to consider when preventing water damage. Make sure you know what to expect and take specific measures to protect your home.
Look over your water bill each month and pay attention to unusual fluctuations. If you find you are paying more than you should, it might indicate a leak.
Inspect your roof at least once a season. Any damage on your roof can lead to serious problems throughout the rest of your home. If you can’t see your roof or are incapable of climbing on it, call a roofing company for assistance.
Damaged sprinkler systems are a major cause of yard and basement floods throughout the country. It’s common for sprinklers to wear out over time and with frequent use, eventually leading to leaks. And in areas that drop below freezing during the winter, broken or burst pipes are even more common. If your city shuts off the water to your sprinkler systems each fall, make sure you know when they will turn the water back on. Once you know when the water will be turned on in the spring, spend a few days after they do so watching your yard for any soggy, damp, or unusually spongy areas. If you notice any excess water, you will need to repair the damage quickly. If the main water line does not leak, turn your sprinkler system on and watch for the same signs of damage. If the sprinklers seem to be working poorly or with reduced pressure there might be a leak somewhere in the system.