Take action to dry out in order to mitigate water damage and save your own possessions.
Drying out after water damage should top any cleanup priority list. If you can dry items you might salvage products and prevent mold and rust.
If humidity is not too high, open doors and windows to start air circulating. Open closet and cabinet doors, and remove drawers.
Rent or purchase high-powered fans to rev air circulation up. Based on size and power, fans price between $50 and $500 to purchase; $20 a day to rent. (Don’t use your central air conditioner or furnace blower if HVAC ducts were under water)
A dehumidifier can remove water vapor from the atmosphere in a contained area. Close from seeping in, the doors and windows of the room to prevent more humidity. Buy a big dehumidifier ($270), so you don’t need to empty its water drawer frequently.
A sump pump is a submersible pump that always moves water out of the house by means of a pipe or hose. If you have standing water that’s a few inches a sump pump can help. Rent a sump pump for about $44 a day, or buy one for $100 and up.
Some shop vacs are rated for use in wet conditions. These vacs suck water and give you a fighting chance to save wall-to-walls and rugs. Don’t use an ordinary household vacuum whose innards aren’t protected from water. A as costs a 16-gallon goes for about $170.
Haul furniture and rugs into the sun to reduce inside moisture level. Remove sheet vinyl or linoleum floors to promote maximum evaporation. Throw insulation out under floors.
To purchase time, place wet publications and photos into plastic bags and place in a freezer. This prevent mildew and mold and will prevent deterioration. Whenever you have time, retrieve books from the freezer and air- or the pages.
Desiccants (silica gel, clay, calcium oxide) absorb moisture like a sponge. Place water-permeable bundles of items that are moist and desiccants in areas, such as cabinets or in containers. Some desiccants change color to indicate they are saturated, which may take days or weeks, depending on how much moisture things contain.
Why water damage claims are typical and how to prevent them.
Discovering that your home was destroyed by a leak or a flooding can be catastrophic, and fixing water-damaged walls and floors are often extremely expensive. Water damage and freezing problems were the third most frequent reason for a homeowner’s insurance claim between 2011 and 2015 with an average payout per claim of $8,861.
Water damage was the top reason why clients filed claims this past year. But the good news is that in over 90% of instances , water damage is preventable. Looking out for plumbing problems, leaks and other issues is key to preventing water from ruining your home.
Water damage is often caused by plumbing difficulties. That is why it’s important to inspect the plumbing systems in your home at least once a year to make sure that there aren’t any problems with pipe or pipes joints. You should also keep in mind that plumbing pipes have a very long lifespan. Brass pipes may last for as many as 70 years while copper pipes may last for over 50 years. The average lifespan for galvanized steel pipes is often between 20 and 50 years.
Drain pipes are usually made of cast iron (which can last for as many as 100 years) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Properly maintained PVC pipes can last forever. Check your home inspection report or consult a licensed plumber to learn about the life span of the plumbing pipes in your home.
If your water bill is unusually large, that may be an indication of an undetected leak. Purchasing a water leak sensor that sends alerts to your phone is 1 way to safeguard your home. You should also check around your toilets, tubs, showers and sinks for any soft spots or moisture. Keep an eye out for loose tiles as well. If you have a dishwasher or a fridge with a water line, start looking for warped or discolored floorboards.
Unless you are doing laundry, then you probably don’t think twice about your washing machine. But if it breaks down, the results could be catastrophic. By way of instance, if the supply hose is damaged or has a faulty connection to the wall or washing machine, more than 600 gallons of water could potentially spill out within an hour. That could cause significant water damage, particularly if your washing machine is located on the second floor of your home.
To avoid water damage, you need to replace your washing machine supply hose at least once every five years. Also, resist the temptation to overload your washing machine. Constantly stuffing a lot of clothes into your washing machine could loosen gaskets and valves or cause fractures. Take good care of your washing machine and your washing machine will take good care of you.
During severely cold winters, pipes can freeze and burst. That is more likely to occur if you have certain kinds of pipes, such as swimming pool supply lines, water heaters and pipes with minimal insulation that run against exterior walls.
If temperatures tend to freeze in your town, make certain to protect your pipes. Insulate both cold and hot water pipes using heat tape or pipe sleeves available in your home improvement store. If you have water supply lines in your garage, keep the garage door closed as often as possible. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate. If you’re planning to spend some time away from your home, leave the heat on and set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees. You can not control the weather, but you can put up a good fight to save your plumbing.
Water heaters have a shelf life. You could wait until your water heater starts leaking to replace it. But if you are being smart about avoiding water damage, you need to replace it every 10 years. A tankless water heater can last for as many as 20 years.
You can find out how old your water heater is by looking up the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker near the top of the water heater. Be sure that you regularly inspect your water heater to check for signs of moisture build-up, mold or corrosion. If your water is not as hot as it was or there is rust coming out of your faucets, it is time to call a plumber or water heater specialist.
Snow may seem lovely. But if your home is not weatherproof, a terrible snowstorm could damage your roof, walls and ceiling. Make sure your home is prepared for inclement weather by ensuring that your rain gutters and downspouts are clean. You should also check windows and doors to make certain that your caulking hasn’t cracked.
If it snows where you live, be wary about the formation of ice dams on your roof. This happens when the heat inside your home causes water to melt in the middle of your roof. The water then refreezes near the borders, forming a dam which prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. The water which backs up can flow into your home and damage ceilings, walls and other areas of your home. To prevent ice dams from forming, insulate your attic to maintain heat from rising and reaching the roof.
Roofs should be inspected annually. A professional roof contractor may look for interior and outdoor warning signs that your roof’s condition can lead to water damage, including cracked or missing shingles and areas where water is more likely to pool. An inspection can cost a few hundred dollars, but in exchange for your peace of mind, it is priceless.
There are many measures you can take to prevent water from damaging your home. And when you can not take things into your own hands, you can feel relieved knowing that your homeowner’s insurance policy covers water damage.
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