According to industry statistics, 14,000 people in the USA a day experience a water-related home emergency. Water damage isn’t just a frequent problem, it’s also expensive! Insurance claims for water-related home repairs cost an average of $6,900.
There are ways to prevent some of the most common causes of water damage. While you can’t control the weather and prevent natural flooding, you can prevent burst pipes, broken fixtures, and more. Perform the following steps to reduce the likelihood of needing water damage repair services.
Detect Water Leaks Early
Monitor Water Bills
Keep an eye on your water bill. If you notice a sudden spike in water usage but you HAVEN’T begun using more water, it could signal a leak. For reference, a family of four uses 12,000 gallons or less per month. If your usage is higher than this, it could signal inefficient water usage or a leak in the house.
Check Your Water Meter
Before you start, read your water meter. After doing this, don’t use any water in your home for two to three hours. Read your meter again after this period ends. If your reading has increased, then you likely have a water leak somewhere in the house.
Invest in Leak Detection Systems
Leak alarms and automatic shutoff detectors can detect small water leaks before they become a big problem. Leak alarms do exactly what the name says. These small devices are water activated and will sound an alarm when water is detected. Many leak alarms these days are smart devices. They can send a message to your smartphone to let you know when a leak has been detected. Automatic shutoff detectors can turn off the water supply to major leaks if there is unusual or prolonged water flow. Together, these devices can detect and prevent catastrophic water damage.
Test Your Toilet for Leaks
If you suspect your toilet is running, place a single drop of food coloring in the tank. Wait 15-20 minutes and check the toilet bowl. Colored water in the bowl is a likely sign of a leak.
NOTE: After you do this test, flush the toilet a few times to clean the tank and the bowl. Food coloring can cause staining if left to sit too long.
Prevent Future Leaks
Invest in Professional Maintenance
Have a plumber inspect and maintain your major appliances on a regular basis. Water heaters, sprinkler systems, and washing machines all use large amounts of water. When they fail, the resulting clean-up can be extensive. Invest in regular maintenance to prevent these appliances from failing.
Practice Your Own Maintenance
You don’t have to be a plumber to handle minor upkeep on your plumbing appliances. Replace the hoses on your washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker at the first sign of wear and tear. These hoses are cheap and easy to install. Don’t skimp on the quality! Purchase well-made replacements any time you’ll be doing DIY work on your plumbing.
Know Your Water System
Make sure you know where your main water supply valve is. You should also know where all of the shutoff valves are for individual water fixtures. In the event of a major leak, turn off the water supply to the area. This will stop the leak until you can have it repaired. Teach other members of your family how to do this, too.
Watch for Problems
Keep an eye out for plumbing issues that could lead to problems down the line. Wear and tear, noisy pipes, discolored water, and moisture buildup around appliances could all be early signs of serious issues.
Don’t Put Off Repairs
Fix leaky fixtures, cracked water pipes, or faulty appliances as soon as you notice an issue. Don’t wait until there’s a major leak, or you could be paying for water damage restoration on top of necessary repairs.
Find Water Damage Cleanup Services
Elite Restoration offers service all across Southern Idaho. Our teams are IIRC certified and have all of the experience and equipment necessary to perform flood cleanups and water damage restoration.
View our list of locations below and find your nearest Elite Restoration team: