Preventing or at least minimizing water damage may not be at the forefront of your mind when enjoying the idyllic Palm Beach County. But “a stitch in time saves nine”, as they say!
Types of Water Damage
The types of home water damage differ according to how they arise and what effect they have on the structure of your dwelling.
- The most common water damage in homes comes from rain or a pipe and is referred to as clean water damage because the water is uncontaminated.
- When soaps or chemicals have contaminated the water, typically from leaking appliances, it is termed grey water damage.
- The most noxious type of water damage, called black water damage, refers to water that has been polluted with hazardous materials. Because it is typically caused by sewer pipe leaks, it may contain toxic bacteria.
Where Does Water Damage Come From?
Unsurprisingly, modern-day conveniences are often where water damage originates:
- Air conditioning systems are a godsend during the hot and humid months of June through September. With Palm Beach County’s balmy climate, your HVAC system probably runs all the while you are staying in your vacation home. Continued use can lead to a blocked and therefore leaking condensate drain line.
- Appliances are the main culprits of clean and grey water damage. Because refrigerators are typically left running when you depart, they have the potential to cause water damage if there is a power outage and/ or surge. The rubber hoses of dishwashers and washing machines can perish and cause water damage. Stainless steel braided hoses have a built-in burst-resistant mechanism, and some even include a shut-off mechanism that reacts to a change in water pressure.
The very structure of your building can also be the source of water leaks and related damage:
- The roof should be inspected for signs of damage and aging as well as moss, algae, and an accumulation of leaves at least twice a year and after every big storm.
- Gutters must be regularly cleared and maintained to prevent a backflow of rainwater.
- Doors and windows are often overlooked because they are meant to be open. However, perished seals and weather stripping, along with cracks and gaps, require regular checks and repairs.
Preventing Water Damage
There are dozens of idioms lauding precautionary action rather than reaction. For good reason too! But not often is the principle more pertinent than when it comes to home water damage prevention – especially if your residence stands empty for any length of time.
Here are three easy but effective water damage prevention tips:
- Monitor your water bill for a sudden and drastic rise. Particularly if water usage has increased while you were not there, a higher-than-normal bill is often the first indication of a water leak. Promptly looking into and fixing it should mitigate costly water damage home repairs.
- Identify where the water shut-off valve is and turn it off when you head back North. Part of Florida Estate Management Services’ weekly home watch inspections involves running your water to eradicate stale drain water and flushing toilets to avoid water rings and dried gaskets. Your water shut-off valve is then turned off again.
- Invest in water damage prevention systems such as a water leak detector or an automatic shutoff valve. While both track the water coming into your home, each does so differently:
- Electronic water leak detectors use acoustics to pick up the sounds of leaking pipes in your water systems, drains, toilets, and so on.
- Automatic shutoff valves track the pressure in your plumbing system. When a pressure imbalance is detected, your water is cut off.
Florida Handyman Services
Even employing all the tips above, nothing beats the human eye! First and foremost, let FEMS’ home watch service check your vacation home for the first indications of water leaks each and every week. Our licensed and insured specialists inspect:
- The exterior of your home for surface cracks and gaps that may lead to water intrusion.
- Your home’s interior to check for mold, mildew, and signs of moisture damage or internal water leaks; test your basic plumbing; and ensure the proper operation of appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, wine coolers, and air-conditioning units.
Should anything need to be repaired, our Florida handyman services address it promptly and strive for your 100% complete satisfaction.