It might still seem like a long way off, but springtime is coming! Gradually, the weather warms up, birds fly home and begin building their nests, and rain prepares the ground for the gorgeous blooms we all love. To enjoy this new season to the fullest, it’s important to make sure your home is protected from common water damage issues. The thawing of winter ice, the arrival of heavier rains, and even simple wear and tear can cause problems, but staying alert and keeping an eye on things is the easiest way to prevent them.
Inspecting and checking
I know it sounds alarming, but at the end of the day, all of the water-bearing appliances, plumbing lines, and fixtures that your home contains are technically a potential source of damage. As part of your springtime inspection, you’ll want to give each of these a checkup to make sure they’re functioning properly. So what is it that you’re hoping to (not) find?
- Clear signs of damage such as puddles of water or stains
- Valves or connections that have grown loose or unsteady
- Cracks in hoses and pipes
- Worn down or damaged parts
Get to know your sump pump
A sump pump is a device in your home’s basement that helps prevent water buildup in the event of a flood. If you don’t know where yours is, now is a good time to locate it! Just looking is not enough to judge whether your sump pump is working properly, so as part of your spring inspection, you’ll want to perform an actual test. The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) recommends checking your sump pump every couple of months, but if you’ve never checked it before, here’s a simple guide:
- Check the power by turning the sump pump off and then back on again
- Listen to the pump when it is on to make sure you don’t hear any unusual noises
- Use a bucket or hose to pour water into the sump pit, enough that the water raises the float or triggers the diaphragm of the pump and it turns itself on
- Watch to make sure the water drains effectively
- Inspect the pump discharge line to ensure the water is flowing out and there are no blockages such as ice, leaves, or other debris
You can also install a leak detector, which will alert you if the water in your sump pump rises too high. An audible alarm is cheaper, but it will only alert you if you are home to hear the noise. A Wi-Fi leak detector sends a notification to your email address or phone number, letting you know right away even if you are away from home. Either way, you will have additional protection.
More key areas
The following are some more places you should check during your spring home inspection, looking for the previously mentioned leaks or signs of dampness and damage.
- Washing machine and attached hoses
- Water heater or boiler
- Refrigerator, including ice makers and dispensers
- Humidifiers and dehumidifiers
Doing a simple check of your home in the springtime can help prevent many headaches down the road, but nothing is foolproof! If you have further questions or concerns, or if you find signs of water damage while you’re looking, give the Flood Medix a call. We can stop water damage in its tracks, and we’re happy to answer any questions you might have while you’re preparing your home for the warmer weather ahead!