Summer is an incredible time of year. During the summer, the warm weather and twenty-four sunshine encourage you to forget about all of your problems. Typically, there’s less for homeowners to worry about when the water and wind aren’t attempting to break down the property like the Three Little Pigs!
All is well, until… BOOM! There’s water everywhere. Oh, no. Yep, the usually good conditions lure you into a false sense of security before hitting you with a massive clean-up bill. Water damage in the summer happens, folks, and it happens more often than you may care to imagine.
Aside from the deteriorating conditions that are consequences of global warming, a flood is also likely because people aren’t taking proactive measures to prevent the damage. Why would you when you never expect to be hit by a cascade of H2O? Therefore, the first step is to understand that a proportion of the 75,000 people forced from their homes each year happens between June and August.
Then, it’s essential to take precautions on the off chance that you’re one of these unlucky persons. Maybe you’ve never experienced residential water damage, or perhaps it occurs regularly and you have a company such as this Chicago restoration company on speed dial. Regardless, the following foundations for preventing water damage this summer should always be on your radar just in case.
Maintain Your Gutters
A significant part of maintaining your gutters is understanding how little rain can clog them. All it takes is a couple of millimeters for the drains to fill with debris and burst over the side of your property. You might assume that this isn’t too big of a deal since the overflow will splash over the exterior of your home.
However, while the guttering isn’t on the inside of your house, the consequences can result in water damage to your interiors. The reason is simple – not all features are created equal. For example, your windows are designed to withstand rainfall, yet not the amount that builds up in external guttering. That level of water could break the seal and force the H2O inside.
The good news is that it’s very straightforward to check for flaws. The main warning sign is sagging. Gutters that are sagging often indicate they are full of water as the extra weight is causing them to sit lower. Running water down the side of your home isn’t a healthy sign, either.
Even if the volume is only small, it could be a sign that the excess is nearly ready to spill over entirely. Handycrowd recommends walking the length of your property to gauge whether the gutters need clearing. If they do, you’ll have to get your hands dirty and remove as much debris as possible.
Look For Leaks
Searching for leaks is something that you won’t often do, and for a good reason – leaks are pretty obvious! Once you spot one, you’ll deal with the gushing water. Until that time, you can sit on the sofa and relax, safe in the knowledge that your house is free of water damage. Sort of.
While major leaks are simple to see, it’s the little ones that go under the radar that you want to be wary of as they can displace a large volume of water over a short period. ErPlumbing calculates a standard faucet will leak at ten drips per minute, which equates to three liters a day. If you don’t catch it for a full year, the amount of displaced water reaches astonishing three-hundred-forty-seven gallons.
Wow. That’s a lot of damage! With this in mind, it’s imperative to actively search for leaks that you might not see or hear. The best place to start is under the kitchen sink as the piping is typically out of sight. Is the area wet? Are there lots of excess moisture? If the answers are yes, it could be due to a faulty faucet.
A smart move is to check the washers fixed to the faucets and plumbing. It might only be loose by a millimeter or two, yet it’s enough slack for the moisture to get out into the open.
Highlight Where The Water Supply Is To Everybody
Sometimes, accidents occur that can lead to major water damage. In a lot of respects, there’s not much you can do since breakdowns are typically a result of wear and tear. Your fixtures and fittings, however, won’t appear much different on the outside. It’s what’s going on under the hood that matters.
You should brush up on the warning signs, such as the lifecycle of faucets and boilers, yet you need to remember that you’re not a trained plumber or technician. If it happens, the best plan of attack is to react swiftly to limit the flow of water. Therefore, you must know where the main water supply (stopcock) is and how to turn it off completely.
Usually, it’s a red or colored valve, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find. Of course, just because you know where it is doesn’t mean everyone else in the house knows its location. They should because you can’t guarantee that you’ll always be at home when an incident occurs.
It only takes a couple of seconds for the water to gush out everywhere for your home to suffer irreparable damage. Understanding how to act could be the difference, especially in the summer when features are used frequently and experience significant wear and tear.
Install A Drainage System
The summer showers never hurt everyone! If anything, you welcome them because they’re great for your lawn. After a sprinkling of water, the grass looks thick and luscious and encourages you to spend more time outside in the garden. Sure, extra water is good for grass and plants when the temperature skyrockets. The same doesn’t apply when the rain is constant.
Unfortunately, grass and soil can only soak up so much water before it starts to sit on the top. Essentially, your garden’s inability to take in the rainfall could lead to a flood. The closer it creeps to your property, the bigger the problem. This is one of the reasons that Swiftdrain trench drain systems are popular with homeowners.
Not only can you use outdoor drainage on your lawn, but you can have channel drains by the side of your drive or running around the perimeter of the house. Should any standing water begin to form, the overflow will run into these channels and keep the rising tide at bay.
Channel drains are perfect for people who want to protect their cars, too, as it only takes a small rise in rainfall to flood an engine or seep into the interior of the vehicle.
Have A Vacation Backup Plan
Yes, water damage can occur at the most inopportune moments, such as when you’re out of the country enjoying a memorable holiday. Of course, when you receive a phone call to say that your house is underwater, it ceases to be remarkable for the right reasons! All you can think about is the level of the damage and what it’s going to cost you in repairs.
That’s no way to spend a vacation, so it’s better to consider the worst-case scenario before you board the flight or pack the car for your road trip. Thankfully, the process is easier than it sounds since all it takes is a friend or family member to watch over your place. They don’t have to live there, but they should go around a couple of times a week to ensure everything is kosher.
If you’re worried, you can go one step further and shut off the water for the duration of your vacation. Abbotts Fire and Flood recommends doing this and checking the sump pump before you leave. You might want to take a look at the weather forecast for when you’re away to see what the conditions will look like.
Other than that, you should complete a thorough check and search for potential problems that could cut your family holiday short.
Add Water Damage To Your Insurance Policy
Last but not least, you must get to grips with the limitations of your insurance coverage. Insurance is something that homeowners don’t particularly like to pay for considering you might never recoup your investment and insurers have less than reputable reputations.
However, it’s better to have a comprehensive plan in place and have to fight a legal battle than it is to have no insurance and pay the repairs out of your pocket. You might already own coverage, yet it should explicitly state that it covers water damage.
Lots of companies don’t include it as standard as they class it as wear and tear or an act of God. You don’t want any ambiguity as that means there are plenty of loopholes. So, contact your insurer and ask them for an additional.
The cost of home insurance will be more than you normally pay, but don’t baulk at the price. Instead, you should calculate how much more you’re forking out and compare it to the expense of repairing a flooded house.