Protect Your St. Charles Home From Water Damage
There are many ways to help protect your St. Charles home from water damages. Water losses occur when water finds its way outside of the appliances you rely on to run your household’s daily needs. When we think about the causes of severe water damage to our homes, we usually think about extreme weather like a hurricane or torrential rains. But the unfortunate reality is that extensive damage is often the result of ordinary household plumbing systems and appliances that fail – and these can be just as destructive to your home as an extreme weather event.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help prevent water damage from plumbing problem in your St. Charles home. It is helpful to understand some of the common causes of water damage.
These may include:
• Heating and air-conditioning systems
• Water heaters
• Pipes and plumbing fixtures
How to Detect Water Damages
Water damage can often go undetected, even if the telltale signs are there. Plumbing that is housed inside the walls of your home, in less-trafficked areas like a basement or attic, or behind a cabinet or appliance, can easily go unnoticed. That’s why it’s important to check your appliances and plumbing from time to time.
- Know where the main water supply enters your home, locate the main shut-off valve and make sure it’s functioning properly.
- If you will be away from home for an extended period, consider shutting off the water supply, but consult with a heating professional first to understand if doing so will compromise any other systems in your home. Maintain a temperature of at least 55 degrees in your home. Also, if your home is protected by a fire sprinkler system, do not turn off the water to this system, and maintain sufficient heat to prevent a freeze-up.
- Consider having your air-conditioning system inspected regularly by a professional. Check around the unit for indications of leaks. Check the drain lines annually and clean them if they are clogged. Change the air filter annually at a minimum.
- Inspect water heaters, showers, tubs, toilets, sinks, dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines annually, and have them repaired if there are signs of leaks or corrosion. Be sure to include supply lines, hoses, connections and fittings in the inspection.
- Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases, and make repairs as needed.
- If your refrigerator has an ice machine or water dispenser, check the hose between the wall and the refrigerator to determine if it is pinched or stressed. Also look for signs of leaking or wear and tear.
- Check exposed plumbing (pipes, valves, etc.) for signs of leaking or corrosion. Have any pipe damage fixed immediately to prevent more costly repairs in the future.
For any questions or concerns about water damage in your home, call SERVPRO of St. Charles at (636) 442-0847
Water damage due to a plumbing issue in your home can be life-changing. But there are some common signs that homeowners can look for, and steps they can take, to help avoid a major water issue at home.
Consider this example:
A homeowner and his family head off for a three-week vacation. While they’re away, a minor toilet leak grows, until it reaches a pace of three gallons of water per minute. By the time the homeowners returned from their three-week vacation, the unaddressed leak had poured more than 30,000 gallons of water into their home. The water ruined furniture, fixtures and irreplaceable family valuables, and rendered the property virtually uninhabitable for an extended period of time.
But this is just a cautionary tale. The following guidance is meant to help you learn about the potential water issues from common plumbing problems and how you can take steps to help prevent disaster.
Causes For Plumbing Problems
Plumbing issues can occur anywhere in your home. Frequently, lack of maintenance is the root cause of these problems. However, other causes can include:
- Manufacturing and design defects.
- Installation errors.
- Exposure to cleaning products (for example, by storing chemicals under the sink or by cleaning surfaces of plumbing components).
If caught early, many plumbing problems can be addressed before serious damage occurs. For this reason, regular inspection of your home’s visible plumbing parts can be critical. Knowing the lifespan of parts and appliances is also important, as is properly maintaining the other parts of your home and its features and systems.
Signs to Look For
Want to help prevent plumbing complications from damaging your home and potentially resulting in expensive property damage or loss? Start by visually inspecting your plumbing on a regular basis. Look for drips and slow leaks. Be sure to check the areas surrounding your pipes as well. If you see water damage on cabinetry or other nearby materials, there may be an active leak that you’ll want to locate.
Your entire home plumbing system may not be visible, but there are certain places in your home where you can readily inspect plumbing components:
- Under sinks and washtubs.
- Inside access panels near showers, sinks or appliances.
- Attachments to toilets, water heaters and appliances.
- Basements and crawl spaces.
You will want to look at any piping, valves and fittings in the areas listed above. Leaks are most common at connection points, so pay close attention to the plumbing connections on faucets, washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, water heaters, water filtration systems, shut-off valves and toilets. Your home’s piping system may also have multiple connections between various sections of pipe. Appliances and fixtures themselves can cause problems, so be sure to inspect those as well, and keep up with any regular maintenance recommended by the manufacturer.
The signs of a problem will vary by component. For example, problems in copper piping may look very different from problems in PEX, a common type of plastic piping. In general, you want to look for signs of corrosion, cracking, hazing, discoloration and mineral deposits from a water leak.
For any questions or concerns about water damage in your home, call SERVPRO of St. Charles at (636) 926-0033.