Top 10 issues that cause water damage and simple ways you can help prevent them…

Takeaways:

  • Simple preventative measures or quick 2 minute checks can help prevent larger issues
  • Know the sources or appliances that tend to cause most issues
  • Understand how those sources cause water damage
  • Learn the simple tips you can do today to help prevent major damage (if you have doubts with what you are seeing – check with your plumber)

Top 10 issues we see:

1. Sink leaks and overflowsleaks below your sink can happen over time and are easy to check for. Check the water supply lines to your sink for wet areas around the line or corrosion around the valve. A simple way to test for any leakage under your sink is to lay a piece of paper towel down under the “p-trap” (curved pipe under your sink) and leave it for 24 hours.

2. Toilet supply lines and overflow – the water supply line for your toilet is that little pipe coming out of your wall usually to the bottom left of the toilet with a braided hose coming out. Check that there’s no wet areas around the hose and also that the turn on/off valve isn’t starting to become corroded. You can also check for any discoloration of the walls in that area.

3. Floor drains in basement (usually in utility rooms) – Check to see that the drain doesn’t have any debris on top of the grate. You should have your drain checked periodically to make sure its not backed up.

4. Washer machines – the water from your washer machine usually goes out through a drain hose to your utility sink. Check that the hose connection to the sink is tight and if you have a small mesh lint trap piece on the end of the hose take it off and check there isn’t buildup behind it.

5. Sump pump failure – sump pumps fail due to lack of power or excess water. Check that the power source for your sump pump is in a place where it isn’t easily disupted (think of a plug sticking out in an area people constantly walk by). You can also put a backup battery on your sump pump that will kick in if it ever loses power. Something to keep in mind is that sump pump failures are usually not included in your homeowners insurance policy so if you are not sure of your coverage we would recommend speaking with your insurance agent or company.

6. HVAC Condensate line – leaks in this line can be caused by back up in the hose line or cracks in the hose as they age. Check for any debris inside or cracks. If debris is found it should be blown out.

7. Dishwasher leaks from the water supply linethe supply line is the little hose that is underneath your dishwasher behind the panel (usually 2 screws to pop off). This hose can get corroded over time and start leaking or break (they are made to last 5 years). Check under your dishwasher for any dampness or discoloration in the flooring.

8. Pipe leaks inside walls – pin hole leaks in your pipes can be hard to detect and can cause major damage over time as the water builds up. Check for any discoloration of your walls or any signs of spots or mold starting. The longer the building materials of your home are wet the higher the chance of damaging the structural integrity of the home.

9. Refigerator water supply line – if you see a small puddle of water at the bottom of your refrigerator or freezer it doesn’t mean you have a problem yet. It could be a one of spill or ice coming out and melting, but if you continually see that water there it is most likely a leak in the supply line to your refrigerator. At this point you may want to contact your plumber, but for those who want to go deeper, you can pull your refrigerator out from the wall (make sure to unplug it) and check to see if the walls behind it are damp or have mold. If you discover a leak and want to try to replace the line yourself you can reference a helpful video below.

10. Cracks in foundation walls – Check for areas with cracks wider than a pencil line (these can be formed by hydrostatic pressure, or pressure from water in the soil surrounding your basement).

If you have any questions or would like advice on these topics and the issues they can cause feel free to contact us or call directly anytime!

For a more comprehensive tool on how to prevent water damage see below (we’ve also included an easy to download PDF if you want to print off and walk your home):

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