Identifying the possible culprits of home water damage
Look carefully at your major appliances:
- Periodically check for leaks under the sink where the hose connects to the water supply. Look around the base of the dishwasher for evidence of leaks, such as discolored, warped, or soft flooring materials, or water damage to nearby cabinets.
- If your refrigerator has an icemaker, make sure the hose connection is securely attached to the water supply line. Also, a wet spot on the floor may be a sign of a crimped icemaker line about to burst.
- Replace deteriorated caulk around sinks, and check the pipes under the sink for leaks. A slow-draining pipe may indicate a partially blocked drain that needs cleaning.
Here’s what you should examine and address:
- Shower & Bathtubs: Remove and replace deteriorated or cracked caulk and grout. Water from a broken supply pipe behind the wall can leak through these damaged sealants, causing stains or soft areas around nearby walls and floors. Leaking drain pipes and shower pan leaks are also common sources of water damage. If necessary, contact us for help.
- Sinks: Check under the sink for leaks from water supply lines or drainpipes.
- Toilets: Clogs can result from too much toilet paper or objects such as hanging bowl deodorants. Also, some chlorine tablet cleaners may corrode internal plastic or rubber parts, leading to a leak. Again, don’t hesitate to call in a professional.
The Basement, Laundry or Utility Room
- Washing Machine: Check hoses regularly for bulging, cracking, fraying, and leaks around hose ends. Replace the hose if a problem is found or every 3 to 5 years as part of a proactive maintenance program. To help make sure the hose doesn’t kink, leave at least 4 inches (or 11 centimeters) between the water connection and the back of the washing machine. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully.
- Water Heater: Most water heaters last 8 to 15 years. Wet spots on the floor or a rusted tank may signal a leak. Water heaters should be installed on the lowest level of the home, next to a floor drain, or inside a drain pan piped to the floor drain.
- Sump Pump: Battery-operated backup sump pumps can help protect against power failure or failure of the primary pump. Test the sump pump before the start of each wet season. Sump pumps are not intended to last more than 10 years and must have some components replaced or serviced within those 10 years.