Each year, thousands of insurance claims are filed and homeowners are inconvenienced by water damage. But many times, water damage can be avoided with regular maintenance and a little preparation.
Do you know what you can do in and around your home to prevent water damage in your Minneapolis home? Here are some simple tips to make water damage prevention part of your regular home maintenance so you can avoid experiencing water damage in your home.
Your are enjoying a nice quiet time at home when a pipe bursts, or you come home to find your washing machine hose has split open and flooded your Minneapolis basement. Do you know what to do first?
That’s right, turn off the main water supply valve to stop the flow of water. But do you know where to find it? Generally, if your home is connected to the municipal water supply, this will be located in the basement on the wall facing the street. It may also be in a first-level bathroom if you do not have a basement. If your home is connected to a well or spring, the valve will be on the wall closest to the water source.
Take a few minutes before an emergency to locate the main water supply shut-off, and make sure everyone in your home knows where to find it. Shutting off the water in an emergency can make the difference between a small claim, and a large water loss.
If you have rubber washing machine supply hoses, you are at a greater risk of having a failure that causes water damage. Rubber washing machine hoses are not designed to withstand constant pressure, and often fail, and because these hoses are always pressurized, this can cause serious problems for homeowners.
Be sure to inspect your hoses regularly, and replace them at the slightest sign of deterioration. If your hoses are old, you may want to replace them anyway. Newer, braided stainless steel hoses are much more resistant and less likely to fail than rubber hoses.
Dishwashers are tucked neatly under our countertops, and small leaks may sometimes go unnoticed for long periods of time, potentially causing mold. Inspect the drainage hose and the hoses under the sink for any leaks or signs of deterioration. Also be sure to clean the gasket around your dishwasher door to ensure a tight seal when the dishwasher is running.
Old water heaters are common causes of water damage, and should be replaced before the end of its life expectancy, which is about every 7-12 years. You water heater will have a certification plate with the manufactured date on the front. If you see signs of deterioration, they should be replaced sooner. Install a recovery plate under the new water heater that connects to a floor drain to prevent water damage from leaking water heaters.
In Minneapolis and all of Minnesota, frozen outdoor pipes are a common occurrence and burst pipes can cause a host of problems for homeowners. Protect outdoor pipes and faucets before it freezes, and turn off the shut-off valve inside the house and open the faucet so any remaining water drains to prevent water damage.
Homes built before the 1950s commonly have galvanized steel pipes that have a lifespan of about 40-50 years before rust builds up inside the pipes, increasing your risk of leaks, burst pipes and water damage. If your home was built during this period and you have not had the pipes replaced, doing so now may prevent major water damage from a failed pipe.
Pipes that make strange noises are also cause for concern, but are often easily fixed. When your plumbing makes a noise when you shut off the faucet, this is indicative of a pressure surge that can damage your pipes. A plumber can easily solve this problem, preventing damage.
If you are going to be away from your home for more than a week, especially in the winter, you should have someone check on your home while you are away. Always make sure your heating system is working to prevent frozen pipes, and drain the pipes if you will be away for an extended period of time.
Many times water damage can be avoided with regular maintenance and a little preparation. At 24Restore we hope you never have to experience a water damage emergency, but if you do, water damage cleanup should begin as soon as possible to help mitigate the damage. 24Restore will respond anytime, day or night, for your water damage emergency in Minneapolis and the surrounding areas.