First, we’ll take a look at how water damages your home:
Water damage is not only caused by storms and the like. Water damage can ruin a home just by a pinhole-sized leak in your pipes, soil, blocked gutters or pumps that aren’t turning on. If left unchecked, the smallest leak can turn into a leak that could ruin your whole drywall, by causing black mold to develop, which can eventually weaken major structural elements like beams and joints. Stopping leaks before they grow is the best way to prevent water damage. The implications don’t only apply to your home, but to your bank account too. Water damage to your home can be very expensive to repair. So, its best to prevent that from happening, before your finances take a knock.
Here are a few things that you, the homeowner, can do to prevent water damage:
Downspouts pick up water from the gutters and bring it down to the side of the house. A simple concept that works well, but a downspout that is perpendicular (at a 90-degree angle) to the ground can run the risk of thrusting the flow of water along the foundation of the house. Rainwater that is pushed t high volumes can rapidly erode the soil around the house which can leak into the home via the foundation, which will cause major damage.
A way to avoid this is to run water through the gutters to make sure the downspouts are flowing. If the downspout is perpendicular to the ground, it is advised to add a downspout extension that carries the water at least a meter away from the house. This way, you can direct the flow of water away from the foundation of the house.
Seal cracks or missing caulk:
When the weather is clear, make an inspection of your home’s exterior to look for cracks or missing sealant. You should pay special attention to the top of your window casings, because water can accumulate there. Caulk is a cost-effective way of preventing water-damage because it is widely available and affordable to purchase, as opposed to the costs of repairing water damage. Any crack that is detected should be filled in as soon as possible.
No crack is acceptable. From the inside, look for tell-tale signs of water leakage like mold spots, bubbled paint, crumbling drywall/plaster, or termites. All of these must be dealt with as soon as possible because they can and will worsen.
The ground that is directly next to your foundation should ramp downwards, away from the foundation wall. Ground that declines towards the house will cause water to pool there. Pooled water can enter the foundation at that point if left unchecked. To re-grade the soil, you can use a rake and a spade. The rake can be used to guid the soil downwards away from the foundation, while the spade can be used to settle the soil so that water is encouraged to move along its surface, and not soak into it.
If your roof is not water-tight, it is guaranteed that your house will suffer from water damage. This may even lead to roof collapse in extreme cases. Water can leak into your roof in multiple ways. Before rainy weather comes, put a ladder up against the side of your home and inspect the roof for any shingles that may cause leakages. Overgrown moss should also be looked for as that can work under the shingles and any damage from fallen roof tiles. Make sure to repair this damage as because water damage in your roof can lead to disastrous results.
Water spilling over packed gutters erodes soil adjacent to the house and can compromise the foundation. Water leaking through foundation walls can damage walls and floors.
Cleaning your gutters and downspouts once or twice a year is the best way to prevent all of that water damage, simply for the price of hiring a worker or purchasing an extension ladder.
The Pipes and Drains:
Sinks are meant to capture water and divert it to the sewer main through waste pipes. Every part of that system must function perfectly. If not, wastewater will leak into sink cabinets. A few ways you can prevent this are:
• Avoid pouring grease down drains.
• Keep drains clear with a regular cleaning schedule.
• Always keep a strainer in place on sink and shower/tub drains.
• Frequently clean out the strainer and deposit the debris in the trash, not back down the drain or in the toilet.
• Make sure that your tub’s overflow drain is draining and not leaking.
• Regularly check on every drain trap, located in sink cabinets.
The chimney is a giant opening that is typically not as well weather-sealed as windows or doors. Rain that comes through uncapped chimneys and especially through the sides, past the chimney flashing, will cause major damage in the attic, walls, and floors.
Here are a few ways you can prevent this:
• Install a chimney cap or make sure that your cap is properly attached.
• Have a chimney technician or contractor inspect the metal flashing around the chimney to ensure that no water is passing between the flashing and the chimney.
• Have the chimney mortar repointed and sealed by a qualified mason or do it yourself.
• Repair cracks in the chimney brick or mortar.
Check water bills’ history for irregularities such as spikes in usage, comparing these demands on your water supply with past bills to see if they fit in the norm.
A more recent method of checking for water loss is to purchase an electronic water leak detection system that installs directly on the main water supply line to the home. Sensors monitor water flow, pressure, and temperature. Leaks and burst pipes are caught before they cause too much damage.
Switch from Copper to PVC pipes:
Copper pipes, which are standard in many homes for decades, can develop pinhole leaks, especially when they age out to the twenty-year mark. Like any kind of plumbing joint, soldered copper joints can fail. But even within an unseamed length of copper pipe, corrosion can cause holes that result in silent but steady leaks. These drips will wreak havoc on ceilings and inside of walls.
Changing out copper pipes for corrosion-free plastic PVC pipes ensures that no pinhole leaks will damage your home. Whole-house re-plumbing is invasive and expensive. But you can progressively change out sections of copper for PVC whenever you have access to a ceiling or wall since PVC can be effectively mated with copper. Once you learn how to work with PVC, you will find that it is easy and relatively fast to pull out your PVC-related tool and materials and replace a section of pipe.
We at ARK Waterproofing hope that this can assist you in preventing your home from becoming water-damaged. Otherwise, you can visit us or request a free quote on how we can help you repair or prevent water from damaging your precious home. Give us a call today and see what we have to offer you.