Despite being the elixir of life, water is never something we want uncontained in our homes. While floods, storms, and burst pipes may be first to come to mind when considering main sources of water damage, over time a small leak can wreak just as much damage on a home.
Not only can water damage personal possessions, but it can also be detrimental to the foundation, structure, walls, and many other aspects of a home. At times, leaks are hard to find and can go undetected until a major issue arises. The great news is that with the right maintenance and proactive preventative measures, leaks can be avoided or caught and resolved quickly, saving you time and money.
There are many ways to prevent water damage caused by leaks in the home, such as frequent inspections, waterproofing, and quickly repairing any visible damage on your roof. To help refine your skills as leak-seeking detective, we’re sharing the top 5 issues that cause water leaks in a residential property, and how to prevent them:
1. Washing Machine
One of the hardest working appliances in any household is the washing machine. Over time, certain elements of a washing machine will run their course; mainly, the supply hose. Should the supply hose lose its connection to the wall, severe water damage can occur - even from just a small amount of water. In order to prevent these small issues from turning into catastrophic events, remember not to overfill your washing machine, and periodically check the supply hose connection every few months.
2. Old Roof
The roof of your house is the main form of protection against the elements. However, if not inspected and kept up-to-date in terms of repairs or replacement, an old roof can let water seep into attic spaces and cause structural damage to your home. As the years go by, the shingles can loosen and expose the asphalt underneath; this can lead to cracks in the winter that will allow water to leak into your home.
To prevent this from happening, have your roof inspected annually. This way, minor exterior and interior issues can be spotted (before they become major repairs) and you can take appropriate action to adequately protect your home against water damage.
3. Rain Gutters and Downspouts
One of the best ways to prevent potential water damage to your home is by regularly checking and clearing out rain gutters and downspouts. Left unchecked, rain gutters can get so full of leaves and debris that water is not able to drain. Once backlogged, water from these drains can slowly seep into your home, almost undetectably. In order to prevent this, after each winter and summer, clean out your rain gutters to help prevent avoidable water damage.
4. Sinks, Showers, and Toilets
Your bathroom plays host to many potential water leak issues. Therefore, it is important to regularly inspect sinks, showers, bathtubs, and toilets, making sure that each system is functioning optimally with no water loss. The most common cause of toilet water damage is a burst pipe in the wall. This will moisten the wall causing potential structural damage to your house; the same can also be said for showers and sinks.
In terms of showers, it is important to take note of any loose tiles as this could be an indication of a leak. For sinks, regularly check the pipes underneath to make sure there is no visible moisture or small leaks. Typically, signs of mould and mildew are an indication that there may be a leak. Should this occur, turn the water off immediately and contact a professional to get the situation resolved.
5. Plumbing Problems
As your home ages, it becomes more important to periodically inspect your home's plumbing system. If you are not sure what you should be looking for, your best course of action is to reach out to a professional plumbing team to inspect your pipes. Pipes can be made of different materials and each type will have a different lifespan - this is important information to know when inspecting a home.
A key indicator that you may have an undetected leak in your home’s piping system is if your water bill has recently increased and is continually trending upward. If this is the case, book a plumbing inspection immediately to help find the source of the water loss.
Should you have any questions regarding water leaks, repairs, or inspections, Toronto’s trusted plumbing team is available 24/7 to help you find lasting solutions at the best rate. Reach out to Sewer Squad Plumbing & Drain Services to set up a consultation with one of our highly trained technicians and discover how proactive plumbing maintenance can save you thousands of dollars in future repairs!