Water Damage Prevention Tips
Sometimes, it rains, and you forget you left a window open, or there’s a crack somewhere in your home you didn’t know about, that lets in water. Accidents happen, we understand. Not all potential water damage comes from the inevitable rainstorm or flood, however. Plenty of common household appliances use lots of water and are ready to cause damage to your home if not taken care of properly. Here are some steps you can take in advance to prevent water damage from happening.
- Inspect your attic. The number one cause of water damage in the home is leaky roofs. Inspect your attic for damp insulation, damaged or missing shingles and leaks surrounding the chimney and roof vents.
- Get your air conditioners professionally checked every year. Window and central air conditioners rely on water to work properly. With proper maintenance, your air conditioner could last up to fifteen years. Ensure it’s in proper working condition so as to avoid any potential water damage from arising.
- Check your water-reliant appliances. Check washing machine hoses for any signs of deterioration and replace any that do. Replace your washer’s supply lines every five years to keep it in top condition. Check your dishwasher for cracks or bulges in the supply line that could cause leakage during a rinse. If you see any water collect under the dishwasher while a cycle is running, be sure to turn it off and get it fixed by a professional. Check your refrigerator’s ice maker supply line for any cracks or leaks. Every six months, take your fridge out from its place in the wall and vacuum the coils on the back. Not vacuuming these coils could result in up to $1000 worth of damage to the compressor.
- Flush your water heater every six months. This is a great way to remove any built-up sediment or gunk, and check for any cracks or rusting. If your water heater is rusted or cracked, call a professional immediately.
- Install water detection alarms in your home. Install them wherever a leak is possible or likely to occur, especially in places you wouldn’t normally think, like under the sink, in the boiler room or behind the washing machine. Visit USAA.com/water alarms for more information.
- Be smart and proactive. Don’t leave the bathroom or kitchen after you’ve turned on the tap. Run plenty of water when you use the garbage disposal to prevent clogs or leaks. Repair small leaks around air conditioners, water heaters, dishwashers and other appliances before they get worse and become problematic. Rinse off extremely soiled clothes outside with a garden hose before throwing them in the washer in order to keep the dirt out of your home’s drainage system. If a problem occurs, call a reliable contractor about it immediately.
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