Water damage can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to a home. Sometimes in the event of extremely severe weather such as flooding or a hurricane, water damage cannot be prevented. But, with some basic preventative measures, much of the water damage that occurs in a home can be avoided.
Leaky Roofs and Basements
Two common culprits of water damage in a home are a leaky roof or a leaky basement. If you have damage or deterioration to the shingles, flashing around chimneys, or valley areas in the roof, there is a potential for leakage. Also clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water to leak in the house and cause damage. In order to prevent water damage in these areas, keep roofs, valleys, gutters, and downspouts free from debris so they can properly drain. Have the roof inspected periodically for deterioration. In basements, cracks in the foundation, even small ones, can cause water to leak in and cause damage to finished basements or items stored in the basement. Most leaky basements can be repaired by having them sealed with waterproofing material such as liquid asphalt with rubber additives or synthetic rubber.
See the following article from HomeDoctor.net for further information on causes of water damage in the basement: Basement Flooding at Home.
Water Damage in the Kitchen and Bathroom
Water damage can also occur from broken or leaking appliances that use water. In the kitchen you should periodically check the appliances for damage. For the dishwasher, check to see that the hose connection to the water supply is secure and free from leaks. If your refrigerator has an icemaker, make sure the hose is securely attached. Around the sink, make sure that the pipes are not leaking. Around all of these areas, check the floor to see if there is any evidence of damage. In the bathroom, make sure that caulking is in place and tight. Make sure there is no softness around the floor near the tub or shower. The sink pipes should also be inspected periodically. Check for moisture around the floor near the toilet.
Other Areas for Potential Water Damage
In the laundry/utility room, inspect the washing machine hoses to make sure they are properly connected or for signs of damage. If damaged, replace them immediately. Also, check the pipes of any sinks in the room for leaking. Another important appliance to check is the water heater. Water heaters can rust and leak. Check the water heater periodically for rusting or for patches of water around the floor. If your water heater is more than 15 years old, you may want to consider replacing it.
For further information on detecting leaks in your home see the following article from HomeDoctor.net: Leak Detection at Home.