Water is essential to life and living. Although known to be in liquid form, water has a solid form and gas form as well. It is a chemical substance that is composed of one molecule of oxygen and two hydrogen atoms. Water has a lot uses and is the most important chemical substance in our everyday lives. It is tasteless, colorless, and odorless.
One can never overemphasize the importance of water in all aspects of life. Plants, animals, and we human beings, need water. It is also an important factor in many industries and products including agriculture, as a dissolving agent, heat transfer processes, recreation, manufacturing, food processing, and a whole lot more. As the population grow, the need for water increases as well. Unfortunately though, many individuals tend to waste water and do not give a thought to the fact that our water supply will eventually run out if we do not take care of our environment and continue with this wastage.
But however useful water is, it can also be damaging as well, and in fact, can be life threatening and extremely destructive to our property. This is one of the main reasons why homeowners make sure that their homes are insured. More importantly, we have to be ready when water pipes burst, when the basement gets flooded, when appliances malfunction, or when disaster strikes. There is no such thing as ‘too early’ to prepare. If others can be ready, why can’t we?
While preparation for water damage is crucial, early water damage detection is just as significant because this will somehow determine the extent of the damage. Nipping potential water damage in the bud can drastically cut its capability to do harm and cause losses. Let us go over some tips on how to be able to practice water damage detection.
1. Check your water pipe system and be alert to signs of leaking. Water damage can cause destruction to even the most solidly built and well-maintained houses. Most houses and buildings have water pipe installations, and it is important to remember that pipes burst and water comes gushing out, and often in the most unexpected of times. But it does not have to reach that point. Leaking does come before the pipe actually bursts and if you are alert to the telltale signs, you can do something beforehand. In addition, maintaining your water system will help minimize the possibility of leakage and bursting.
2. Check your roof. In disasters like typhoons or hurricanes, the roof is always the first part of the house to get damaged. That is why it is important to get your roofs in good condition before this happens. Check if there is missing or bent flashing, or if there’s any damage in the gutter and chimney. Gutters that are damaged or full of debris will only allow the water to fall freely all around the house. In addition, downspouts should also be directed farther away from the house.
3. Check your walls. Wet and stained walls or bricks means there is possible water damage that needs to be checked and fixed right away. In case any of your brick walls are damaged, have these repaired immediately also. Check also for warped or loose siding boards, and for water intrusions through the windows.
4. Check your attic and basement. In your attic, check for any wet or damaged insulation. Any openings, missing parts, rotting or warping, should be investigated immediately. In your basement on the other hand, check for wetness. The basement ceiling should be free of any moistness and stains. Your ductwork should be dry and intact.
5. Check your appliances. Appliances that make use of water such as water heater, dishwasher, washing machine, air-conditioning unit, and refrigerator are also impending water disasters if not functioning properly. Have these appliances checked if there is any sign of a water problem to avoid a potential water damage situation.
These are only some of the more common ways to apply early water damage detection. Always check for small signs. These signs should not be disregarded. Remember also to monitor all repairs that were made and sustain these lest the problem recurs. In case a repair job is needed to remove some potential water damage situations, there are helpful tips available for this. If you are confident enough to do the job yourself, then by all means do it. Sometimes, it is much better fix things yourself as this would save you a lot of time and money. But there are also companies and service providers that you can always depend on especially if you are not comfortable doing the needed repairs yourself.
If in case you are already a victim of any natural disaster such as a hurricane, typhoon, or flood that resulted to burst pipes, major damages, leaky roof, or a partially destroyed house, here are some basic tips on what to do in the aftermath of that calamity.
- If it was a hurricane or tornado that hit your place, make sure that you find out first if your house is still safe to live in. If you are not certain of this, look for a temporary lodging place you and your family to stay in, while the house is being restored to a livable condition.
- In case the calamity was a typhoon, make sure that your gas supply lines are off, same as your water supply. If there is a possibility of a power outage, ensure that the main switch or circuit breaker is turned off.
- If the house is filled with water, sweep or scoop out all the water first and have it dry up.
- When the disaster has already left, check for damaged water pipes or plumbing connections. Inspect also your electrical and power wirings before turning anything on.
- Exercise utmost caution while doing your inspection and always watch your step as the floor or stairs may be deteriorated and give way suddenly.
- If there are any hazardous chemicals or materials exposed due to the catastrophe, have it secured immediately. Cover these with safe, plastic sheets or tarps to avoid leakage.
- Remove wet carpets and rugs immediately and have these dried.
- If any part of the house has been destroyed or broken, make sure that you clear away the debris and that the children stay away from that area of the house first.
- Consider safety always. If you have to do the above checking or procedures yourself, you bring your family to a secure place first, together with your valuable belongings and keep them safe.
- Write down all your observations and create a checklist of your inspection. After that, you may call your insurance company or an expert in that type of damage you are currently facing. Arrange some basic agreement and always keep important tracking or invoice number.
You have already noted down the damages your house sustained, now we can proceed to repairs. As in any damage, the perfect tools are proper repair and promptness. In other words, you should do it right away and in the correct way. Don’t forget to inform your insurance about the adjustments and repairs that are going to take place. Sometimes, the insurance company decides who to call to perform the repair, but you have the option to choose a company that you know will give better service. Your repair group will tell you if the house or the damage can still be restored, or if your house is totally damaged and in need of major renovation. Make sure that you select a reputable contractor. Remember that most accidents and damages are caused by weak foundations and structures. There is an expert for each particular damage. You have to know who to call.
If water pipes burst because of unexpected situations like temperature drops, you can check your pipes installation. Some pipes are installed like threaded galvanized iron pipes, and are copper soldered with elbow tees. So depending on the type of pipe installation you have, you can also fix the damaged pipes in the same way that they are installed.
If case your backyard pool leaks, damaging your lawn and flooding the basement, you have to turn off the main water switch. Find the leak and patch it using a patching material. This can be easily done once the leak is located around the fittings. If not, then you have to search the liner.
These and a lot more instructions can be found in books such as a guide to home maintenance or how to manage water damage. There are also many informative articles about water damage and safety found in the internet. You can consider asking your friends as well about their experiences in this type of situations. There is no other best tutor than experience.
Lastly, remember to always ensure that your house or building is designed to protect you against any form of water and moisture, and having a regular routine inspection will help you achieve this goal. Should water emergencies arise, you can expect minimal water damage or none at all. Home maintenance is a major aspect in preparing for water damage. It gives you and the whole family a peace of mind, security, and safety.
Your house or building should be designed to protect you against any form of water and moisture, and having a regular routine inspection will help you achieve this goal. Should water emergencies arise, you can expect minimal water damage or none at all. Home maintenance is a major aspect in preparing for water damage. It gives you and the whole family peace of mind, security, and safety.