Quick Tips For Preventing Water Damage To Your Home

If you’ve every had water damage to your home due to a heavy rain storm, burst pipe or a roof leak you’ll understand just how disruptive, expensive and annoying the results are to deal with.   The reality is that water damage can happen to both old and new homes.  However,  as your house ages the chances of water damage increases; the land around your home may slowly start to settle and slope towards your house as opposed to away from it, cracks can slowly appear in the basement floor and foundation walls, and water supply hoses may become cracked, kinked or corroded.

So how can you protect yourself against water damage?  To start, it’s always a good idea to do a check of high risk areas in your home . Check out the tips below and remember a regular maintenance schedule for your home is the best way to protect your investment!

  • Pay attention to your water bill.  If there has been a significant increase it could indicate a leak.
  • Insulate the pipes in the attic, basement and exposed exterior to avoid freezing.
  • Keep your roof in good repair and inspected regularly.  Repairs are needed if there are any cracked or missing shingles, loose or missing granules, deteriorated flashing or if there is any pooling of water present.
  • Keep your roof clear of snow and ice in the winter.
  • Inspect plumbing beneath sinks every 6 months, ensure that connections are secure and there is no evidence of corrosion on the pipes.
  • Know where the water shut off valves are and find the main shut off valve for the entire home (ensure that it is working and check it every 6 months).
  • Reduce water use during heavy rainfall to avoid basement flooding due to sewer backup.
  • Keep outdoor storm sewer grates and basement floor drains clear (if you’ve had issues with sewage backup or flooding in the past in your basement make sure to talk to your local municipality).
  • Inspect for cracks in foundation walls and basement floors and seal any that are found.
  • Install and maintain downspout extensions; direct water flow away from the home or install a rain barrel. Ensure that your eavestrough is clear of debris.
  • Ensure that the land around your house slopes away from it (the CMHC recommends that you ensure at least 1.8 m (6 ft.) out from around the foundation).
  • Inspect your toilets and supply lines every 6 months; make sure that the fill valve shuts off when the float reaches the proper water level, and replace the flapper or fill valve assembly if you notice intermittent or constant tank refilling when the toilet is not in use.
  • If you have an ice maker on your refrigerator make sure that the supply line hose is properly installed.  Inspect it the supply line every 6 months and ensure the valve connection is secure and free of kinks.
  • Inspect your washing machine and connecting hoses; check the hoses for cracks, kinks or blisters, ensure that the connection to the valve is secure, making sure there is a 3-4 inch gap between the back of the washing machine and the wall to avoid kinking the hose, and consider replacing washing machine hoses every 5 years  (many washing machine manufacturers recommend this frequency) with reinforced braided stainless steel hoses.
  • Inspect your water heater.  After the age of 5 there is an increased chance of having your water heater leak or burst.  To help prevent this have a professional inspect the anode rod at least once every two years and annually once the warranty has expired and remove sediment by flushing the tank every 6 months.
  • Check your windows and doors to make sure that they are properly sealed and install window wells for basement windows.
  • If you have a sump pump make sure to inspect it regularly to make sure it is clog free.  (Follow the manufacturers recommendations, which can vary from running the sump pump every two to three moths to a yearly cleaning before the rainy season).  Also be aware that power outages can be responsible for causing your sump pump to have problems; consider choosing a system with a battery replacement warning and make sure to replace batteries at least every 2-3 years).


  1. Henry Morgan says

    A colleague of mine suggested United Plumbing Solutions in Palm City, Florida and I was surprised by how quick and affordable it was to resolve my backed up sewer system issue. Check them out at http://www.ups-plumbing.com or call 772-905-4442

Speak Your Mind