Your Yearly Home Inspection Checklist: Protection Against Water Damage in Dallas
We hate to say it but water damage in the home is shockingly common. And, we’re not just talking about burst pipes and faulty appliances. It’s not unusual for a homeowner or renter to experience severe weather such as snow, rain, wind, and flooding.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do if Mother Nature decides to crash at your place without asking; however, there are steps you can take to make her visit less taxing. Our Dallas water damage restoration specialists have put together a checklist that will help you to detect possible issues and better protect your home against a water disaster.
1. Inspect And Maintain The Exterior Of Your Dallas Home
Obviously, when it comes to weather, your home’s first line of defense is its exterior structure. If there is a weakness, water will surely find it. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to ensure your property is more water-resistant:
Check On Your Roof
No surprise here, right? Broken and missing shingles cause leaks, which can result in problems like unsightly damage and mold. Assess your roof condition at least twice a year and make repairs as necessary.
Also, clean gutter guards and downspouts (the pipe attached to the gutter) so debris doesn’t build up — water should always flow freely from the roof. Additionally, position downspouts so water is directed away from the home.
Of course, it might be worth your while to have a professional inspect for water damage since some complications are more hidden than others.
Make Sure Windows Are Sealed
Varying temperatures and years of use can negatively affect window frames and seals. What’s more, some windows are simply victims of poor design. It’s a smart idea to caulk and seal your windows to keep liquid out.
Inspect Sprinkler Systems
If you have a sprinkler system, make sure it’s turned away from your house so it’s not causing water to collect near the foundation and walls. This can weaken structural integrity.
2. Fortify Your Basement and Foundation
It’s not difficult for water to find its way into your basement. After all, basements are usually below ground and under constant pressure from water-soaked soil. Verify the ground slopes away from the foundation at about 6 inches over 10 feet of distance.
If your basement has a damp smell, water stains, mold, or any evidence of water seepage, there may be problems with your floor slabs or foundation. The remedy can involve applying water sealant to the walls and floors; however, you may find additional assistance is needed such as sump pump installation (to pump water out of the foundation) or mold remediation.
Keep in mind a water damage inspection can aid in pinpointing issues and formulating the right plans of action.
3. Know and Maintain Your Plumbing Systems
Your plumbing system just wants a little love and understanding, and it doesn’t take much to show it you care:
- Check pipes for leaks and cracks.
- In times of cold weather, take steps to protect your pipes from freezing.
- Locate your main water shut-off valve and know how to use it in the case of a broken pipe or other water emergencies.
- Ensure showers and tubs are well caulked and sealed. Generally speaking, a good seal should last at least five years.
Moreover, if your area is susceptible to floods, there is a chance excessive water can cause sewage backup in drainpipes. If this material invades your home, a water damage inspection service may also need to perform biohazard cleanup. Fortunately, installing a sewer backwater valve in the drainpipe can help. Typically, this valve utilizes a flapper to direct sewage out and prevent it from flowing back in.
4. Take Care Of Your Appliances and HVAC
The importance of this is twofold: It prevents appliances and HVAC units from leaking, and it keeps you from having to shell out your hard-earned dough for new equipment. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that a leaking appliance can damage the home. But, what is less thought about is how flooding can destroy appliances and HVAC systems.
Preventative measures are key! Make sure to inspect appliance hoses at least once a year. Replace any damaged hoses as soon as possible, but also make it a habit to change out all the hoses every five years. If you can, elevate your HVAC unit, washer, and dryer to at least one foot above the base flood elevation (BFE). BFEs are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps and dictate the floodproofing/elevation requirements of buildings.
5. Safeguard Your Possessions
Whether it’s because of investment or sentimental value, everyone has items and trinkets that mean something special to them. Certainly, it’s hard to completely secure your home and belongings from a water event, but there are things you can do to help mitigate your losses:
- DON’T store valuables in an area where there’s an increased risk of water damage.
- DON’T place items on basement floors; use elevated shelves.
- DO store items you’re not regularly using in waterproof containers.
- DO store your essential documents in waterproof containers or an offsite safe
- DO perform an inventory of your possessions and keep a record of them with lists, photos, and videos. This might support an insurance claim!
6. Hire a Dallas Professional To Perform A Water Damage Inspection
We touched upon this a bit earlier, but it bears repeating: Sometimes, expert advice is needed. It’s nothing against you or your abilities; it’s just that a trained eye may see signs of trouble that you don’t. This is especially true when mold and sewage are lurking about.
The technicians at SERVPRO of North Irving are experienced, certified, and dependable. With over three decades in the industry serving Dallas, we’ve worked on a countless number of projects involving fire, storm, and water damage, as well as mold remediation and restoration. We’ve also professionally cleaned carpets, upholstery, air ducts, odors, and biohazards. And, we’ve provided building and reconstruction services. (Some might call us a great catch.)
In all seriousness, when a helping hand is needed, put your trust in a company who not only understands the possible outcomes of water damage but also knows how to properly handle it.
Oh, and for those of you in the Dallas area, keep us in mind. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you’re ever in need of water damage inspection, repair, and restoration, contact us!