Water is a rising threat to properties in the 21st century, making it a priority to prevent water damage. All the old risks — like weak pipes and faulty appliances — still apply, but global shifts in temperature and weather patterns are putting floods on everybody’s radar.
Some property owners will bury their heads in the sand with so much that can go wrong, but those who care for their health and wealth will get proactive and engage foundation repair services whenever necessary. Our guide will highlight the risks posed by water, what you can do, and why calling the professionals is the surest and safest way to prevent water damage.
Common Water Damage Threats to Property
Water damage can impact furniture, appliances, and personal belongings. This can hurt personally and financially, but worse can occur. Exposed appliances and other electrical equipment can quickly become electrical hazards in a water damage scenario, injuring or killing residents and necessitating residential or occupational evacuations.
More gradual and insidious water damage can lead to mildew and mold which trigger allergies, cause and exacerbate breathing issues and agitate skin conditions. A comprehensive disinfection program is essential, particularly for commercial premises. Many may think home insurance is a safeguard against all these effects of water damage but they’re only half right. Here’s why.
How Home Insurance Can Let You Down
Home insurance is not a failsafe against water damage. It can protect you under select circumstances yet leave you high and dry in others.
Floods Are Not Covered Under Standard Policies
Groundwater, stormwater, lakes, rivers, or torrents: name an external water disaster, and it’s likely your home insurance is useless. Normal policies won’t protect properties against natural water events, making our tips below even more crucial.
Not All Indoor Claims Are Honored
Insurers may refuse to pay a damage claim if they can successfully argue that you failed to prevent water damage in the first place. Any sign that you’ve been neglecting preventative maintenance on the property is a black mark in the insurer’s book.
Protecting Against the Unforeseen Indoors is Vital
Only sudden accidents that could not have been avoided by a proactive policyholder are considered for payouts.
Home insurance is important, but it’s not going to protect you if you aren’t working to prevent leaks. Take note of the following seven tips, and you’ll be doing all you can to prove to insurers that you were taking preventative action.
8 Easy Steps to Effective Waterproofing
A close and constant look at the property from top to bottom is the right way to prevent water damage. Follow these best practices and you may never need any extensive damage repair.
1. Check Your Roof
Inspect your roof’s exterior by looking for gutters clogged by debris or ice and for exterior damage to roofing materials and protective flashing. Protect the interior by checking attics carefully for discolored spots, musty smells, or damp areas on walls and ceilings.
2. Investigate Your Basement
Look for vertical, horizontal, or diagonal cracks in basement walls and have any you find professionally appraised by foundation repair services. Check window frames and basement window wells for leaks, water pools, and blockages. Study where walls meet the ceiling and floor for signs of water and invest in great basement waterproofing and a healthy basement.
3. Maintain Your Appliances
Washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, showers — any appliance that deals with water must be kept well-maintained. Even a slight leak quickly becomes a problem, so don’t hesitate to have them inspected and repaired.
4. Monitor Colder Temperatures Indoors and Out
Pipes don’t like the cold, especially pipes in attics, crawl spaces, and basements. Insulating your pipes helps protect them against freezing and expansion, which causes a rupture.
Many types of insulation are suitable for the job. Insulation also prevents excessive pipe heat from escaping, which prevents water damage through condensation.
5. Use a Water Leak Detection System
Detectors can sense when excess moisture is present, and an automatic process shuts down any leaking valves before things worsen. Water leak detectors also pick up on many other threat factors, like corrosion, temperature drops, irregular pipe pressure, leaking basement walls, and even shifts in acoustics.
6. Keep an Eye on Humidity
Check window panes and frames, ceilings, and walls on the property for condensation. Gauge the humidity and aim to maintain a relative indoor humidity level of between 30% and 50%. Many online, home, or drug stores carry cheap and easy-to-use hygrometers that will measure a room’s humidity percentage.
7. Help the Property Stay Dry
Balancing humidity can be greatly aided with a little more technology. Invest in a quality dehumidifier, especially for rooms with heat and moisture-producing appliances like kitchens, bathrooms, attics, and basements.
8. Make Flood Insurance a Priority
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) warns that even properties in low- or moderate-risk zones are five-times more likely to experience flood damage than a fire in the next 30 years. Everyone can benefit from making flood insurance their next step in preventing water damage. Find out if your community takes part in the National Flood Insurance Program and who you can call for a policy.
These eight tips are important tools in helping property owners prevent water damage. However, there are risks worth remembering if you’re thinking of doing solo repairs.
Common Mistakes in DIY Water Damage Repair
There is no point in making a bad situation worse by overlooking some of the typical risks. Consider the following in any water damage scenario:
- Roof inspections can result in further damage to the exterior surface or personal injury. Professional appraisals minimize risk for property owners while preventing further harm to the surface.
- Removing water spills can cause a false sense of security. Leaving only a little behind can breed spores and compromise people’s health.
- Even removing all visible water signs doesn’t mean there are not more problems under the surface. Water damage, particularly on floors, could be a missed sign of structural compromise, which might threaten the entire building.
- External water sources can drag many chemicals in from outside, while indoor sources carry their own pollutants. This can create a toxic cleanup environment hazardous to your health.
- Water damage can also carry the risk of infectious disease through bacteria and parasites.
Every hour you wait to call a professional is endangering people and property. Get in touch with an expert ASAP to prevent water damage from going too far.
Effectively Prevent Water Damage with LUX Foundation Solutions
LUX Foundation Solutions has over 25 years of combined experience in foundation repair, basement waterproofing, and foundation maintenance services. We’ve built our client base of more than 1,000 successful jobs on our signature mix of skill, technology, and community care. We’re happy to help you understand the risks and fixes for any type of water damage you’ve seen.
Contact LUX Foundation Solutions to discuss your residential or commercial building foundation repair or basement waterproofing needs in Northern Virginia today.