Fires, droughts, and now mudslides–oh my! California homes have taken quite a beating lately with extreme weather conditions and we thought we’d offer some quick tips on how to prevent water damage and what to do if your home is already water damaged.
10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage to Your Home
Been putting off reroofing because it doesn’t look that bad? Now is as good a time as any! Those missing shingles are your home’s first line of defense against intense weather conditions, so be sure to reroof or replace missing roof tiles.
Clean All Gutters
This tip is a given: When anticipating heavy weather, don’t procrastinate cleaning out your rain drains around the perimeter of your home! And if they start overflowing after 15-20 minutes of rain exposure, that’s a sign you probably need more gutters installed.
Test Sump Pump
Test your sump pump before inclement weather occurs. Without properly working, your home could potentially flood. Testing is quick and easy and replacement will only run you about $200.
Make sure the roots haven’t wrapped around pipes or sprinkler lines. Call in a professional to be sure your pipes are all clear!
Direct Downspouts Further from Your Home
Be sure downspouts directing water at least 5-10” away from your home.
Check for Dark Spots
Much like a color corrector for your face, check around the pipes and ceilings in your home to fix dark spots, likely an early sign of water damage. Similarly, check around door frames, handles, and windows to be sure they’re properly sealed. Chipping paint or caulk will indicate a potential leak or crack.
Monitor Your Hoses
Disconnect Your Hoses from Your House: Water that gets stuck can potentially freeze back up into pipes, and upgrade your washing machine hose.
Mind Your Appliances
Avoid Pouring Grease and Chemicals Down Sink Drains. Even if you have a great garbage disposal, it is likely that cooking grease or harsh cleaning chemicals can clog drains. And put kitchen appliances and washer and dryers on risers, which may help them miss any flood water.
Install a Water Detection Device
Smart leak detectors are not incredibly expensive to install (about $80) and the technology has improved dramatically over the past few years, helping detect leaks before they get out of hand.
Install Automatic Watering System & One that Recycles Water
Automation is the way of the future. By all accounts, the less time you have to spend dealing with watering your yard, especially if you have a lot of land, the better! An automatic irrigation system set up around your yard will help moderate the amount of water being used and, when installed properly, will direct water away from your home.
How to Fix Water Damage to Your Home
Cut Off The Source
First and foremost, when cleaning up after a flood, turn off water sources and cut your home’s power to prevent further shortages. Open windows and doors and begin drying out the space. Be sure to take lots of photographs of the water damage and then contact your insurance and a home building professional immediately to begin repairing the water damage.
Prevent Existing Leaks from Becoming Worse
This tip is, perhaps, stating the obvious, but that said– you may not think to check very often. Replace known dripping pipes, and check appliances for leaks.Without clear visual indicators of water damage, a good tip-off that you have an existing leak is if you notice your water bill jump dramatically from one month to the next.
Drain Any Existing Water
The longer water sits, the more damage will be caused, so as soon as it is safe to do so, pump out any flood water, and clean up debris. Any mud left behind by floods and storms is likely contaminated, full of toxins.
Fixing Mold in Walls
A home inspector can check your walls for water damage. Because drywall is so porous, it is likely water damage to your walls caused mold growth. When moldy drywall is being replaced, it can create an incredibly toxic environment, so it is best to have a professional help. They can refit your house with more sustainable, water-resistant materials.
Rehab Hard Surfaces Around Your Home
When it comes to countertops and floors, rehabilitating them after a storm is probably something you can do yourself: Simple cleanse with a clean disinfectant and you’ll be good to go!