5 Ways to Help Prevent Water Damage
Did you know that the CDC stands for Center for Disease Control and Prevention?
It’s funny how prevention often gets overlooked. In the midst of a crisis we tend to focus more on control and honestly, that’s pretty telling. We’re a nation of responders instead of preppers. We wait for the other shoe to drop and when disaster strikes, we’re thrown for a loop. “Woe is me” has become the default.
The real question is: why concentrate on controlling disaster when there’s another option?
Maybe we’re partly to blame. We frequently post blogs that help us in the aftermath of disaster (we’re looking at you, water damage), but that’s in our DNA. It’s what we do. Zoë Facility Services was created as a place to help people in a bind – but believe it or not, we hope to never see you there in the first place.
Consider this our repentance. Allow us to amend our previous blog on water damage and take a look at water prevention. Sure, pure dumb luck is still a factor when dealing with water emergencies, but there are a host of ways we can prevent a bad outcome and keep us and our families safe.
Below are 5 ways to keep the water at bay and potentially save yourself thousands of dollars (not to mention, one helluva headache).
- Water Main
Did you know that only 49% percent of people know where their water main shutoff is? That’s an astounding number considering the thousands of dollars it could save you in an emergency. Any expert will tell you that the water main shutoff is the most important plumbing feature in your entire house.
It’s important to not only educate yourself but everyone living in the household on the water shutoff location. In the event of an emergency (burst pipe, overflow, etc.), killing the water flow altogether could be your saving grace. Most people panic in a water emergency, but with a little prep, everyone in your household can be prepared and keep an already bad situation from turning into a total disaster.
- Warning Signs
This might sound like common sense, but our busy lives tend to let warning signs fall to the wayside. If you find or suspect evidence of a leak, investigate it NOW! Ignoring moisture damage and/or postponing repairs could result in dangerous mold, mildew, or even structural damage to your home.
Since homeowner’s insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental, any damage that results from lack of maintenance will not be covered on your standard homeowner’s insurance policy. It might be an inconvenience now but taking care of leaks now could save you from shouldering a huge bill down the road.
Still unsure if you have a leak? Check out this blog to learn about the sights and smells and other items to be on the lookout for.
- Appliances & Hoses
Believe it or not, appliances are the culprit of most residential water damage. Historically, most water damage claims come from water heaters, dishwashers, etc (second only to complications with freezing weather). To curtail future issues, assess and maintain your appliances regularly for leaks or malfunctions according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Pay close attention to hoses that connect to your washer, refrigerator, and dishwasher too. Elderly hoses tend to become frail and can pose a huge risk to homeowners. Most hoses only have a life expectancy of about five years so if you haven’t checked yours recently, it might be time. A simple integrity check or replacement could save you an expensive mess.
- Water Sensors
When I built my home, I didn’t realize how hard our water was going to be. That first shower told me I had to do something – so I had a water softener installed (shoutout Culligan) as I was too busy getting moved in to do it myself. Thankfully, the installation came with a small, battery-powered water-sensing alarm (found here). When a hose happened to disconnect, this little device saved me potentially thousands of dollars.
A water sensor/detector may sound extravagant but they’re relatively cheap and will alert you of any leaks that might go unnoticed. Install it in areas you aren’t checking regularly: near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers, and softeners.
Still not a believer? A study conducted by LexisNexis found that out of 2,306 that installed a water leak detector, water-related claims went down by 96% compared to the two years prior to installation.
- Water Pressure
Believe it or not, sometimes the water company gets it wrong. When water pressure in your home is set too high, pipes and hoses could fail. If water seems to be coming out of your faucets or showers too quickly, consider investing in a water pressure gauge. For less than $10, this simple-to-use device will give you a reading of the home’s water pressure (and peace of mind).
Residential water systems are designed for water pressure of 40 – 70 psi (that means all of your appliances are designed with that in mind, too). If you receive a reading that exceeds 100 psi, install a pressure regulator to mitigate any future issues (believe me, you’ll thank me later).
There are many other ways to prevent potential water damage. From monitoring your water bill for unusual usage spikes to disconnecting garden hoses before the icy winter months. By prepping our homes and prioritizing water prevention, we can drastically lower the risk of becoming a victim of water damage.
Even with maintenance schedules and best-laid plans, there’s always a chance that the water will win. If you experience water damage, big or small, Zoë Facility Services is here to help. With an experienced team of knowledgeable professionals, Zoë is available day or night to get your home or business dried out and back on track.