Water damage has a variety of causes: storms, flooding, roof leaks, broken water pipes and lines, leaking washing machines, and more. This can lead to mold and odor problems, and worse. If left unmitigated, water damage can eventually cause structural damage, which can entail significant costs to repair and can even affect a home’s value. 

Prevention is the first line of defense against water damage. Here are some basics on preventing water damage and its effects:

  • Water supply lines to and from washing machines and dishwashers should be regularly inspected for leaks. Both the hoses themselves and the connections should be examined. Even a small leak can cause water damage over time, so any leaks should be repaired immediately. If the laundry room is located on the main floor or above, damage to the floor and ceiling below can be especially problematic.
  • Tank-style water heaters are prone to leaking, especially after several years of use. Over time, the bottom of the tank can rust out and release the contents of the tank. An overflow valve should be installed that will conduct leaking water to a pipe that drains either to the outside or to an appropriate interior drain.
  • Another common source of water leaks is the icemaker supply line; this should be checked as well. Homeowners should consider shutting off the icemaker and the supply line if leaving home for more than a few days. 
  • Be aware that pipes leaking inside the walls or ceiling may be impossible to detect visually before damage has already occurred.
  • Check gutters and downspouts to ensure that water is flowing away from the home’s foundation. Make any adjustments, and check the flow again using water from a garden hose. 
  • Water leak detectors can be installed at floor level near water heaters and interior air conditioning units. Simple, inexpensive wireless models are widely available and will sound an alarm when water is detected on the floor near these appliances.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy or sell a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at info@kijner.com

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Source: 27th Edition of CRS Consumer Article (March, 15th 2013) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection