Water damage is one of those slowly building catastrophes that most homeowners don’t discover until it’s too late and costly repairs are necessary. Water damage is one of the top causes of loss for homeowners and much of the damage can be prevented with regular inspections and routine home maintenance. The following are some expert recommendations to prevent water damage in your home.
1. Get Regular HVAC Inspections
The heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) units of a home are very common contributors to water damage and regular inspections – either seasonally (in advance of the weather changes) or annually – will help verify that the units are functioning properly. At no time should a homeowner see water coming from an indoor unit – this is a clear sign that something is not right.
2. Pay Attention to Appliances
Appliances typically develop leaks due to cracked hoses, bad connections, or aging materials. There are four primary appliances that are the usual suspects for indoor water damage issues:
In general, hoses and connections should be inspected regularly to ensure they are secure and that there is no sign of corrosion or leaks. Any faulty hoses or loose connections should be fixed as soon as possible.
To keep an eye on the water-damage-causing appliances, you may want to install a leak detection device, especially if you are frequently away from the house. A water detection device will sound an alarm when it senses an unusual amount of moisture and can often be the best early indicator of a leak.
3. Inspect for Plumbing Issues
The fixtures of the bathrooms in your home are often the source of water damage. If there is a leak in the shower, toilet, sink, or tub, however, it’s not likely that you will know until the damage has progressed to a point that it is expensive to repair.
While any sudden increase in your water bill not attributed to an expected change such as turning on the lawn sprinklers in summer, can be an indicator of a water problem, most plumbing leaks can go for years without being detected. The other risk of unseen plumbing problems is the potential for the growth of dangerous mold that can potentially cause serious health problems.
Leak detection used to be a long and expensive process, but no longer. An infrared home inspection can identify leaks that you can’t yet see. Because the infrared camera detects temperature changes, it is easy to identify the presence of water or moisture behind walls, in ceilings, and in other places where water is not supposed to be found. If there is water damage in the walls, in the floors, or otherwise hidden from view, an infrared inspection is the only way to find it without tearing your home apart.
Andrew MacDonald has been inspecting homes in Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Schaumburg, St. Charles and the surrounding towns for years. If you need to know whether a water leak is damaging your home, fill in our online form and request an infrared home inspection today.
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