We must acknowledge that preventing water damage is not an easy task. Since, water can easily damage any part of your household. However, there are some areas of your home that are more prone to experiencing water damage than others.
These areas are commonly referred to as high-risk areas. And, you ought to always pay regular, undivided attention to them. So as to prevent water damage in a successful way.
Or, just minimize your chances of dealing with very serious and costly water damages. What are the top 9 high-risk areas likely to be affected by water damage in your home?
The top 9 high-risk areas likely to be affected by water damage in your home include:
Areas where water-dependent appliances are located (mostly, in your kitchen and laundry area)
Keeping a close eye on these areas is not very difficult since most of them are located inside your household. It would only require you to listen and observe keenly. Or just sniff out any potential water damage in good time. The areas located outside your home are also within reach. And, it would only require a few minutes of your time to inspect them from time to time.
How do you keep a close eye on these high-risk areas? What exactly should you be checking for?
Well, this is the main aim of this article. If you are looking to prevent water damage in your household effectively, you are in the right place. Of course, there are many ways of doing it. And, we shall cover all of them in this series titled water damage prevention.
First, let’s discuss some of the areas, in and around your household that put you at the greatest risk of experiencing water damage. Knowing how to identify water damage in these areas early enough, is the first step to preventing water damage successfully.
Top 9 High-risk areas likely to be affected by Water Damage in your Home
Throughout this article, I discuss- in detail- the top 9 high-risk areas for home water damage. With the hope that this information will help you out in 2 major ways:
To know exactly where to look at whenever you suspect that water damage has occurred in your home. So you can channel your efforts to prevent water damage towards the right places.
To know exactly what to look out for when examining these areas for water damage.
The primary purpose of your roof is to ensure your safety. Yet, it is still the one part of your home that exposes you to serious home water damage. Such ironies of this life, huh?
Your roof protects you from external attacks by animals and harsh weather conditions including rain, snow, extreme wind, heat and sunlight. As a result, it is vulnerable to wear and tear by the same harsh weather conditions it is protecting you from.
So, in a way, we can say your roof takes several bullets (in form of harsh weather conditions) for you. On a daily basis. Until it suffers water damage. And its role quickly changes from offering you protection to being a health hazard.
With time, your roof undergoes wear and tear reducing its efficiency. Because of this, it may start to leak exposing the rest of your household to serious water damage. To be more specific, unattended water damage on your roof spreads and destroys other areas of your home as well.
Water can leak into your attic, causing serious damages that threaten the health status of your home environment. If your roof is damaged, it is always best to handle the repairs as fast as you can. Before, the damage becomes a serious health hazard to you and your loved ones.
How can you tell if your roof has suffered water damage?
There are several signs of water damage to your roofing system you should always watch out for. As a way of preventing water damage to your roof successfully, look for any water spots, blistering and cracking shingles. The status of your roof shingles is a major indicator of potential roof water damage issues. As outlined in this article.
Read, understand, then consider coming up with a scheduled maintenance routine for your roof. This way, you can take good care of it. The same way it takes good care of you on a daily basis.
I mean, without your roof, you wouldn’t be in a position to enjoy the comfort of your home environment. Therefore, taking good care of it should be a top priority. It is also one of the cheapest and certain ways of preventing water damage to your house.
An Attic is the area between your slanted roof and ceiling.
Because of their awkward shapes, attics are susceptible to hidden water damage that can cause a serious dent in your pocket. From the repairs you’ll need to restore your home environment to a healthy state to the medical costs you’ll incur to get yourself or loved ones feeling better. As a result of an illness caused by prolonged exposure to a poor home environment.
This part of your home has so many corners that are difficult to reach. Meaning, a small hidden leakage through your roof can easily cause serious damage. Water damage to your attic is very costly to repair. As it will require you to completely replace most, if not all, of the damaged material.
Specially, pay much attention to the following areas within your attic:
Around the chimney
Around the roof vents
Within and around the Valleys and the flashing. The valleys of your attic are those places where your 2 roof planes connect. Whereas the flashing is the place connecting your walls and roof.
For your efforts of preventing water damage to your attics to be 99.99% successful, there are 2 things to remember;
1st, you must take good care of your roof. This is non-negotiable since water leaks from your roof is the main cause of water damage to your attic as well.
2nd, be on the lookout for several signs of water damage within and around the problematic areas we’ve mentioned above. On a regular basis.
Learn the most common signs of water damage to your attic, which you should be on the look-out for here.
Walls are the fundamental components of your entire household. It is, therefore, not a surprise that they are among the most high-risk areas for home water damage.
Water damage on your walls is pretty easy to tell. From observation alone, you can always notice the slightest of colour changes on any part of your wall. You can also notice any changes on the form and texture of your walls by simply looking at it.
Example- when your drywall soaks up water and becomes saturated, you’ll notice it, slowly, start to sag. But, this is only when the damage happens from the surface. That is, when the source of water causing the damage is external. Hence, the damage is happening from outside towards the inside.
What if it was the other way round? How can you tell if there is water damage happening behind your walls? So as to apply effective measures preventing such water damages from destroying your walls completely? This is the most common phenomena that leaves most homeowners (and even renters) dealing with serious repairs to their walls.
Learn how to find a water leak behind a wall on this article.
Water damage to your ceiling comes from 2 main sources, depending on where your home is located.
If it is at the top-most part of a building, damage can come from a leaking roof. Roof leaks occur when ice/snow melts during the winter months and sometimes, when rains persist too long.
On the other hand, your home ceiling may not be at the highest part of the building but right below a bathroom. In this case, water damage can come from cracks within the floorboards of the house above you or burst water pipes.
The Most Common Signs of Water Damage on ceilings
The Most Common Signs of Water Damage on ceilings are unsightly stains including wet or even dry water marks. And, mold spotting. You may notice green, brown or black marks appearing, in small patches, on your ceiling.
Preventing water damage to your ceiling requires regular roof maintenance. And, very keen observation to notice and take care of any unsightly stains or mold early enough.
Floors are the highest-risk areas likely to be affected by water damage in any household. Since they form the base of your home’s interior.
Your flooring is vulnerable to water damage. From, all the causes you can think of- quite literally. Burst pipes, malfunctioning appliances, overflowing sinks and bathtubs, name them. All these causes of water damage can destroy your floors to the point you might need serious repairs involving replacement.
In order to prevent water damage to your flooring, pay attention to any slight or radical changes in texture. Expansion of material, sinking, warping and buckling are the top early common signs of water damage to your floors. If you spot any of these, contact your water damage restoration expert for help right away. Read more on the early common signs of water damage to your floors.
Appliances make running your household easier. However, when they become faulty, they are a danger to your home and a nuisance to your existence.
Malfunctioning appliances in your home are the 2nd most common cause of water damage to your house. Yet, such appliances easily go unnoticed. For this reason alone, you should consider performing regular (well-scheduled) checks on all the water-dependent appliances you own.
Look for any signs of leakage, pooling water or small water puddles on the areas around these appliances. Do not forget to check behind your washing machines, refrigerators, hot water tanks, dishwashers, sinks as well as toilets. It is the easiest way of preventing water damage caused by malfunctioning appliances.
Basement water damage happens very frequently in many households. Often, water from different sources, accumulates in your basement leading to extensive damages that are quite difficult to repair.
Precisely, water from flood damage or a foundation leak can drain into your basement destroying your drywall, flooring plus furniture. Another major cause of water damage to your basement is sump pump failure.
Any other items stored in the basement can completely get destroyed too. Especially if the cause of the damage happens to be abrupt failure of your sump pump.
Be keen and careful when handling water damage to your basement. Because, if you don’t dry out the place completely, mold will grow. And, you will have a whole new set of issues to deal with. If you are serious about preventing water damage to your house, you should inspect your basement often.
Water damages on your foundations are dangerous because they threaten to destroy the entire structure of your house.
Such damage occurs as a result of poor drainage around your home. Therefore, if you want to identify and prevent water damage on the external foundation of your home, look for signs around your external drainage system.
How do you prevent foundation from water damage?
Check if the drainage in your yard is working properly.
How about your drain spouts and gutters? Are they in good shape to divert water away from your home efficiently? If not, ensure that the necessary repairs are done, in good time. That is, before water starts pooling close to your house, eating away into the foundation of your home.
Also, you should be aware that the walls of your foundation can crack and leak. Especially when rain water soaks into them. Such leaks will eventually start draining into your basement leading to extensive damages.
Protecting your foundation from water is the most effective approach to preventing water damage to your home.
How to protect foundation from water?
There are 2 major ways of fixing any leaks on your foundation walls. As a durable method of preventing water damage to your household
Externally- Dig a trench around your foundation. And, completely seal the whole underground part of your foundation using a good sealant and an efficient protective barrier.
Internally- Remove any drywalls and studs that have already been damaged by any water leaks. And, patch the crack with an effective adhesive. A good one to use is epoxy.
When your exterior siding is worn-out or faulty, water can get into your home easily leading to severe internal water damage.
Therefore, a durable as well as dependable exterior siding is a must-have item in every home. This is the only sure way of preventing water damage via your exterior siding.
What material is your exterior siding made of?
Consider having vinyl siding installed in the place of any wood siding. Because, wood siding can rot very fast and start to warp leading to water damages and other pest problems. Whereas, vinyl siding can stand the test of extreme weather conditions. It does not crack, warp, contract or expand even under weather that is considered extreme.
Understanding how to keep these 9 areas in good condition is the key to preventing water damage to your home in a successful manner. It is also the most effective way of keeping the costs of maintaining your home down.
In U.S alone, maintaining the average home is estimated to cost approximately $1,204 per month. This translates to about $14,448 annually. Excluding any major repairs that might be required following a natural disaster.
Taking care of your household by adopting routine household maintenance practices is compulsory. If you are looking to enjoy the comfort of your home without spending a fortune. And, to uphold your personal health and wellness in life. As well as the health and wellness of your entire family.
A healthy home is a happy and productive environment.
Over to you
Do you have any routine habits that help you keep your household in good condition? How effective are they when it comes to preventing water damage inside your home and safeguarding the environmental quality of your entire household?