Preventive Tips To Help Avoid Water Damage
Pipes & Fittings
At least once a year, inspect and replace all worn fittings and
hose connections to all household appliances that use water, such as washers, dishwashers,
kitchen sinks and bathroom lavatories, refrigerator ice makers, water softeners, and
Shut off water supply to washing machine when on vacation or
absent from the home for several days. This helps reduce the pressure in the hoses and
could reduce the chances of flooding if the hose should break.
Have a professional plumber inspect and repair damaged and leaky
Turn off water supply to all toilets, faucets and tubs while on
When filling the bathtub, stay in the room at all times.
Don't flush foreign objects down the toilet.
For a clogged toilet: 1 - Be aware of water supply location and
shut if off immediately. 2 - Keep a plunger handy to help unclog the toilet trapway. 3 -
When in doubt, call a professional plumber.
Repair window and door cracks with caulk and replace old and dried
out caulk regularly. This will prevent water from entering from the outside.
Never operate any household appliances while absent from the home.
When absent, you have no control over the extent of the damage that could occur.
Clean your gutters and downspouts regularly of leaves, branches
and other debris. This will prevent overflowing, which could cause damage to your roof.
Insulate outdoor pipes to prevent bursting due to expansion caused
Shut off your water when on vacation for any length of time. This
will prevent a pipe has frozen from breaking and flooding your home while away.
During extreme old weather, letting a faucet drip from pipes that
are vulnerable to freezing can prevent a pipe from bursting. Opening a faucet will provide
relief from the excessive pressure that builds between the faucet and ice blockage when
When away from the house for an extended period during the winter,
be careful how much you lower the heat. A lower temperature may save on the heating bill,
but there could be a disaster if a cold spell strikes and pipes that normally would be
safe freeze and burst.
If you suspect that a water pipe has burst, turn off the water at
the main shut-off valve; leave the faucet open until repairs are completed.
Pipes in attics and crawl spaces should be protected with
insulation or heat.
Homeowners in the south should be alert to the dangers of freezing
pipes, when the temperature reaches 20 degrees F. However, freezing can occur when the
temperature remains below 32 F.
To prevent injury after water damage has occurred
Avoid using electrical appliances that may have been close to
fire, heat, or water. If damaged by fire, heat, or water, they could be dangerous because
of the potential electrical charge they could generate.
If the ceiling is wet, leave fixtures off because wiring may be
wet or damaged.
Keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging due to retrained
Refrain from using televisions and other electrical appliances
while standing on wet carpets and floors, particularly if they are located on wet concrete
floors. Wet surfaces are a good conductor of electricity and could give off an electrical
charge to you.
Do's on Water Damage Mitigation
Stop the source of water.
If the outside temperature is above 60 degrees, use dehumidifiers
If damage occurs during a cool season, leave the heat on; if in
summer, use an air conditioner with a dehumidifier, if available.
Try to stabilize the temperature at 70 F and begin
Use fans to circulate the air and assist drying.
Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
Move photos, paintings, and art objects to a safe drying place.
Remove damp books from shelves and spread out to dry.
Do not wait to call for professional help. Damage from the water
and bacteria growth can begin within hours.
Wipe wooden furniture dry.
Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying.
Remove loose items from wood furniture and wipe up excess water.
Open drawers, cabinet doors, and closet doors for better drying.
Remove wet fabrics and dry them as soon as possible. Hang furs and
leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
Lift draperies off carpet, loop through a coat hanger, and place
the hanger on the drapery rod.
Put aluminum foil, saucers, or wood blocks between furniture legs
and wet carpeting.
Remove oriental rugs and other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall
Remove items with color that might run, such as books or
magazines, from wet floor and carpets.
Blot wet carpeting with clean white towels (if practical).
Don'ts on Water Damage Mitigation
Don't use an ordinary household vacuum to remove water.
Don't use electrical appliances while standing on wet carpet or
Don't go into rooms with standing water if the electricity is
Don't lift tacked-down carpet without professional help. Lifting
the carpet incorrectly could promote shrinkage.