Tips for Avoiding Severe Water Damage in Your Home

Blog posted On September 22, 2021

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Cleaning gutters, raking leaves, shoveling snow, and changing furnace filters are all a part of the American Dream. You may not have heard it on commercials or seen it in magazines, but home maintenance is a big part of homeownership. If you’re a new homeowner, you might feel overwhelmed by the new responsibilities. If you’re a seasoned expert, you might just be getting tired of the upkeep. Home maintenance can be a lot to handle. And if you’re thinking of cutting some corners or avoiding some maintenance duties, just make sure that you keep doing the ones that will help prevent water damage.

Common damages caused by water

“Water is a home’s most vicious enemy,” says Ryan Renner, a real estate agent in Omaha, Nebraska. “[It’s] a huge red flag for most buyers.” Oftentimes, what may seem like a simple leak can cause more serious issues under the surface. A common problem with water damage is mold. Other issues could include bad odor, weakened ceilings or floors, and major foundation issues. “Many homes have short extensions, and that just dump the water right next to the foundation and can cause major issues,” says Renner.

Costs of water damage

Repairing different damages from flooding or leaks can be costly. Roof issues can cost up to $1,400. A simple ceiling leak can cost up to $2,000. If your whole basement floods, you could be paying tens of thousands of dollars to get it repaired. Plus, if there are any remnants of the water damage it can take thousands of dollars off your home’s resale price. “Many buyers are able to look past a lot of issues, but very few will look past water issues,” says Renner. “This will greatly impact the resale of your home.”

How to prevent water damage

Water damage isn’t always avoidable, but there are certain steps and precautions that you can take to help prepare your home as best as possible.

  1. Invest in downspout extensions

Your downspout is what drains your gutter water into the ground below. Downspout extensions are used to send the gutter water further away from your house. Usually, they are between $10 and $20 and can be found at almost any hardware store. “Many homes have short extensions, and that just dumps the water right next to the foundation and can cause major issues,” Renner says.

  1. Keep your gutters clean

Unfortunately, gutter cleaning isn’t a corner you can cut when it comes to home maintenance. If your gutters are clogged with leaves or other debris, they can’t do their job of draining water away from your house. Then, water will begin pouring over the sides of your gutters and potentially pooling around your foundation. So, if you know a big storm is coming, check your gutters.

  1. Make sure ground slopes away from your home

Typically, if your home was constructed right, the ground will slope away from your foundation – thus preventing pooling. If you’re noticing an excessive amount of pooling around certain areas outside your house, do a slope check. One easy way to do a slope check is by placing a marble or golf ball next to your home’s foundation and seeing if it rolls away from your home. If it doesn’t, then you might want to consider hiring someone to fix the issue.

  1. Prevent air moisture as much as possible

When we think of water damage we tend to think of flooding and leaks, but the silent killer is moisture in the air. Moisture in the air can often happen when it’s humid outside or in a bathroom after shower. To reduce the moisture in the air, always make sure to turn on the bathroom fan after a shower and consider investing in a dehumidifier.

Home maintenance costs and responsibilities can be one of the more challenging adjustments for new homeowners. To make it easier, you can focus on the most important thing to start – water damage. If you’re in the process of searching for a home and would like to create a budget incorporating predicted maintenance expenses, let us know.

Sources: ApartmentTherapy, HomeAdvisor