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How to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

How to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home
Water damage in your home is dramatic, devastating, and destructive. You and your family are abruptly displaced, your life interrupted, and your belongings damaged or destroyed. Preventing or minimizing the risk of water damage in your home is part of responsible homeownership. As water damage restoration professionals, we see the effects of water damage daily from floods, appliance failures, mechanical mishaps, and human error. While there are some things you can’t control, there are steps you can take to prevent water damage from interrupting your life. We’ve gathered some of our water damage restoration industry wisdom and offer these suggestions for you.
Learn How to Turn off the Water
Every adult in the household should know how to turn off the main water valve in your home. Should water damage occur in your home, this is your first step to minimize damage by stopping the flow of water. (Bonus tip: Compleat has FREE water shut off label tags to help – get yours by calling 800-699-1176)
Be Vigilant with Plumbing and Mechanical System Maintenance
Burst water heaters and broken pipes cause rapid, sudden discharge of water that will flood your home in a matter of minutes.
Arrange to have a bi-annual plumbing and HVAC maintenance and service plan with your mechanical contractor. During this appointment, the heating and cooling systems of your home will be inspected and serviced. To prepare for this visit, do a walkthrough of your home with an eye to leaky pipes or faucets, check the area around sinks and toilets for signs of slow leaks or drips and bring these concerns to your contractor’s attention. (Bonus: repairing these issues early on saves you money on your water and energy bills, too!)
Keep your Appliances Happy and Healthy
Water damage from the dishwasher, refrigerator lines, and washing machines can be either insidious and slow or sudden and dramatic. The amount of water generated from these appliances can flood your entire home rapidly and water travels downward affecting the floors beneath them. During regular use, make it a habit to observe valves, connections, water lines, and pipes. Be aware of unusual noises and follow up on leaks immediately. Create a family culture of observing and reporting anything that is unusual so that you can address it quickly.

Your Home on Vacation
Imagine water flowing from a broken pipe, failed appliance, or toilet overflow. Now imagine that water continuing to flood your home for many days. At Compleat, we’ve rebuilt entire homes that were flooded while the owners were away, unaware. Make it a habit to turn off the main water supply before leaving for vacation.

If your time away is during cold weather, be sure to leave the heat set on low to avoid frozen pipes; open your cabinet doors to allow pipes to have exposure to the warm air in the room. Arrange for someone to check on your home regularly while you are away to alert you to trouble.  (Bonus tip: prevent fires by unplugging appliances before you go).

Is Your Sump Pump doing its Job?
Groundwater from heavy rains or snowmelt will flood your basement. Your basement sump pump’s job is to protect your basement and belongings from water intrusion. Your sump pump is another device that is prone to malfunction and this unfortunate circumstance is not automatically covered by insurance without a sump pump failure rider on your policy. Check your sump pump’s operation annually to be certain it’s in good working order. (Bonus tip: contact your insurance agent to add sump pump failure coverage to your homeowner’s policy).

Annual Fall Outdoor Maintenance Inspection
Do an annual fall maintenance inspection of the exterior of your home. Take a walk around your property, looking for signs of damage to the roof, siding and foundation. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits. Care for trees and shrubs so they do not damage your home in windy or icy conditions. Have your gutters and downspouts cleaned to avoid ice dams that leak into your home. Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. Drain hoses and store them indoors.
Get Help from Compleat 24/7/365
Still need help from water damage? Compleat’s emergency mitigation team is at the ready for you 24/7/365. Call 800-699-1176 to get emergency cleanup help in your home within 2 hours of your call.