Winter means cold weather, which can cause a lot of water damage if you aren’t careful. This is especially true if you leave your home for the holidays. Your home insurance likely won’t cover flooding, so it’s important to prevent water damage with these tips.
Preventing Water Damage This Winter
Use a Water Leak Detection Device: Even a small water leak can cause a lot of damage and, if the water leak is behind the wall, it can remain undetected. You can set up a detection device near a sink, refrigerator, dishwasher, or water heater, and an alarm will sound if it detects moisture. Some will even send alerts to your phone.
Turn Off Water Before Leaving: Winter is the time for holidays, and sometimes extended travel, so turn off the main water supply before leaving. The alternative is to have someone check your home every few days for leaks.
Clean Gutters and Check Your Roof: Remove any debris from your gutters that can clog them and send water down the side of the house or under the roof. Check your roof for any damaged or missing shingles, so water doesn’t come in through there.
Protect Your Pipes From Freezing: Use pipe insulation materials, especially in crawl spaces and attics. If it gets really cold, keep closet and cabinet doors open to help prevent pipes from freezing. If a pipe bursts from the cold, it can cause a lot of water damage. There are low-temperature detectors that will send alerts to your phone if temperatures in the areas where your pipes may dip below freezing.
Check Water Supply Lines: During an annual check-up of your home, inspect the water supply lines and washing machine hoses for signs of wear. Also, check for any leaks near the ice machine in your fridge, or other appliances, and your hot water heater. Supply lines should last about five years.
Clear Snow From The Foundation: Built up snow and ice can cause a leak if concentrated in areas of the foundation that are more vulnerable. Clear snow from steps to the basement and ground windows to prevent water from entering.