Preventing indoor water damage
Ceilings, walls, pipes/plumbing/appliances, floors, moisture problems
What causes indoor water damage?
Leaks or overflow from:
- Pipes, sinks, baths, toilets, appliances, aquariums, domestic water containers or waterbeds.
- Improperly installed appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers.
- Frozen or ruptured pipes.
- Hot water tank or rupture of the brass valve.
What you can do
- Look for bubbling paint or stains on your ceiling, which can indicate a leaking pipe. It could also indicate water dripping from the roof (which is not covered under your basic home insurance).
- Look for water stains, which can indicate a leaking pipe.
- Feel your basement walls for evidence of flaking, dampness, stains or mould.
- If drywall has been exposed to water for less than two hours, you may be able to dry it rather than replace.
Pipes, plumbing and appliances:
- Install an accessible backflow valve to prevent water back-up. You may consider installing more than one, depending on the plumbing system currently in place. Check with your plumber.
- Listen for unusual sounds that may indicate leaks in water lines or pipes.
- Repair leaky faucets and dripping toilets.
- Inspect your water heater, under sinks and behind washing machines.
- Check washing machine hoses for damage. Replace cracked or worn hoses.
- Replace the wax toilet ring if it shows evidence of leaking.
- When you’re on vacation, make sure to turn off your main water source to avoid hose rupture.
- Have a water damage detection device installed.
- Check your floors for water stains, particularly near dishwashers and sinks.
- Keep house plants on saucers to avoid overflow onto your floor.
- Use a dehumidifier, if necessary, in damp areas such as basements.
- Be sure the air in your bathroom and kitchen is well vented to avoid condensation.
- Check that your dryer is properly vented – clear out lint build-up in the exhaust hose and external vent to prevent obstructions that can lead to moisture build up.