Preventing Water Damage from Outside Your home

Winston Salem Homeowners Insurance Service

Winston Salem, NC 2/3/2015

Devastation from water damage is not limited to the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry rooms. Leaking roofs, poor drainage, and clogged gutters/downspouts can also lead to significant water damage inside your house.  Here some ways to prevent damage from external water sources: 

Roof Maintenance
-          Keep roof, valleys, gutters, and downspouts free from buildup of leaves, twigs, and other litter preventing proper drainage. Leaves, debris, and dirt near roof edges or gutters may impair drainage and lead to deterioration.
-          Proper roof and eave ventilation may help extend the life of the roof by reducing the buildup of heat and moisture in the attic.
-          Preservatives available for some type of roofs may help limit weathering effects of moisture and help retard growth of molds and mosses.
-          Avoid walking on a roof to limit wear and tear. Only necessary repairs or inspections should warrant walking on the roof.
-          Keep trees trimmed to prevent them from rubbing on the roof or from providing excessive shade.
Warning Signs
-          Missing, curling, cupping, broken, or cracked shingles.
-          Damage or deterioration around the flashing at chimneys, vents, and other junctions.
-          Damage or deterioration in valley areas of the roof.
-          Water stains on your ceiling may signal a leak in your roof. If possible, check your attic around flues, plumbing vents, and chimneys.
-          Pooling or ponds of water that fail to drain from flat or low slopped roofs may indicate low areas and inadequate drainage.
Gutters/ Downspouts
-          Clean debris from your gutters and inspecting them regularly.
-          Consider purchasing gutter shields if your gutters frequently fill with debris.
-          Downspouts should extend several feet away from your house to carry water away from your foundation.
Other Outdoor Items
-          Disconnect garden hoses from all spigots before the start of winter.
-          Fill in any low spots around the house so water flows away from the foundation.
-          Inspect caulking around windows and doors and replace as needed where cracked and deteriorated.
-          Repaint wood siding as needed.
Hardware That Can Help
                To reduce or prevent damage from plumbing leaks, home owners should be vigilant and check around the home frequently for signs of leaks, be alert, and take action immediately. Proactive maintenance is also important. But with today’s busy lifestyles, it’s impossible to keep watch for signs 24 hours a day. Fortunately there are water leak detection systems that can help.
Water Alarms
-          These Systems are typically battery-operated, stand-alone units. They are inexpensive and easy to install.
-          A moisture sensor is located on the device and will activate an audible alarm when it senses moisture.
-          Water alarms can be placed on the floor or wall mounted. The water alarm should be located in high-risk areas such as under sinks and near appliances and equipment that use water.
-          This device is only beneficial if someone is inside the home, hears the alarm, and takes action to stop the leak.
Individual Appliance Systems
-          These systems are installed on a specific appliance and will automatically shut off the water supply in the event of a leak.
-          Depending on the type of device, you may be able to install the system without any special tools.
-          In some cases, a qualified plumber may be needed.
Whole House Systems
-          These systems feature a shut-off valve that is installed on the main water supply line piping. When a leak is detected, the system will automatically shut off the entire water supply.
-          Some models can be integrated with a local or central station security system.
-          If you travel often, this type of system could offer you additional peace of mind while you are away from your home.

Please contact our agency if you have further questions.

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