Preventing Water Damage to Your Home

Water can cause a lot of damage. In fact, water damage claims now outnumber fire claims.

We recommend you take a few preventive steps to help protect your home against water infiltration from the roof to the foundation.

Your roof

  • Inspect it every spring and fall to make sure it’s in good shape
  • Check a shingled roof after storms to make sure none have blown off
  • Inspect your roof closely if it’s more than 15 years old
  • Make sure your skylights are always well-sealed and watertight
  • Keep your gutters clear, year-round
  • After a heavy snowfall, have a professional remove the extra snow from your roof

 Your plumbing

  • Replace your hot water tank every 14 years
  • Remember that plumbing with galvanized steel pipes has a lifespan of 40-50 years

 Your pool

Keep your pool well-maintained and stay on top of the repairs

 Your water appliances

  • Make sure your toilets, washing machine, dishwasher and hot water tank are well-maintained
  • Check your flood-detector at least twice a year, if you have one
  • Open and turn off your main water shut-off valve once in a while to help prevent calcium deposits

 Your basement

  • Cover your floors with moisture-tolerant materials (like ceramic tile)
  • Choose moisture-resistant materials for your walls
  • Inspect your walls often and call in an inspector if you find cracks
  • Keep your things in watertight boxes stored off the floor
  • Remove snow that accumulates around or against your windows and doors

Your sump pump

  • Make sure your sump pump is in good working order
  • Clean the sump and the filter every winter
  • Check that the emergency backup system is working and the battery is charged

Your drains

  • Every spring, pour a bit of water down the floor drain in your basement to check for blockage
  • Check your backwater valve every spring to protect against sewer backup
  • Extend your gutter downspouts so they empty at least three feet away from your foundation

Your foundation

  • Keep your trees pruned to slow the growth of roots that can potentially damage your foundation
  • Plant trees at least 15 feet away from your home
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