April showers May still be months away, but the winter weather is settling into the Annapolis area.
As snow and ice begin to fall and accumulate, property owners begin to dread a home’s worst nightmare: water damage.
Several things, inside and outside of your home, could cause water damage. Leaky plumbing, overflowing water, broken hoses, and many other factors could lead to minor or sever water damage.
Even small amounts of water could result in costly repairs and furniture replacement.
Protect your home this winter and prepare it for the New Year.
With the fluctuating temperatures and rapidly melting ice, the risk of water damage significantly increases.
Prevent water from infiltrating your home.
Preventative Measures Against Water Damage:
With our first snow days of the season behind us, it may be time to inspect your home.
-Inspect Your Pipes for Leaks:
Hidden leaks often go unnoticed until it is too late. Many pipes in your home remain out of sight in the basement or behind your walls.
Check all accessible piping in the basement and behind cabinet doors in the bathrooms. These hidden pipes are especially at risk during the winter. Unnoticed leaks could freeze over, resulting in a burst pipe! As the temperature begin to drop, keep an eye on your pipes.
-Inspect Your Fixtures and Appliances:
Check the water running fixtures in your home. Be especially weary of fixtures with moving parts, such as the dishwasher and toilet. While these are more vulnerable to damage and leaks, every home fixture should be inspected.
Finding leaks or slow draining may be signs of a greater water problem. Call in a professional plumber before the problem grows.
-Watch Out for a Compromised Roof:
As the snow and ice melt away, take note if there is any water pooling on your roof. Even the flattest-seeming roofs have an inclination for the water to run off.
Take care over the winter months, as snow begins to accumulate and water pools. The damage they cause could compromise the integrity of your roofs infrastructure, risking leak or a ceiling collapse.
Signs of Water Damage to Be Looking For:
Preventing water damage begins with knowing the signs. After snow and ice melt away each week, take a look around the interior and exterior of the house.
Five signs you want to be on the look-out for:
1. Changes You Notice in Floor, Walls or Ceiling:
Living at home every day, changes may not be noticeable right away. Signs may be slow to develop, but if you know what you’re looking for, you will be sure to find it.
Stains in the ceiling are actually one of the most commonly overlooked symptoms of water damage, written off as a structural issue.
Early signs of this kind of damage will seem like partially peeled wallpaper or paint. However, those spots will soon fill with water, becoming bubbly and warped.
Damaged flooring also goes unnoticed, as creaky floorboards are not uncommon as the wood ages. That creak under your step may be trying to tell you something. Beginning in the corners of the room, water will begin to warp wood and make it come undone, causing increasingly more creaking.
If you have carpeting instead of wood, feel around the areas of the carpet. They may feel wet, soft or soggy. This is an evident sign of water damage below.
2. Growing Stains or Mold
Possibly the most visible sign of water damage, stains and mold are also health risk factors to your home.
When there is a slow, consistent leak, a stain will gradually begin to form and appear. Mold will shortly follow, as it is attracted to moisture and damp places.
Carpeting, drywall, ceilings, wood and other materials will begin to harbor mold if they remain damp.
Not all of these areas are always visible. Mold growth begins in acute places, where moisture is left unattended or unnoticed.
Check crawl spaces, carpets, behind tiles and on the ceiling. In addition to leading to more serious damage, mold poses several health risks, including symptoms similar to severe allergy attacks.
3. Strange or Musty Odor
Before you feel a wet spot in your home, you may actually smell it first.
The odor may resemble damp newspaper or cardboard, or seem more musty and moldy.
If you notice the smell, follow your noseto the source, as the smell will be strongest around the wet area.
Check the area for other signs of water damage, such as mold or an increasingly strong odor.
4. Suspiciously High Utility Bill
While water usage typically increases over the holidays, a suspiciously high bill may still raise a few questions.
Minor increases this month may be common, but a sudden spike should make a homeowner curious about what might be going on.
Ensure all faucets throughout the house are closed and not leaking. Check if your toilets are running frequently or if there is a more major leak behind the dishwasher or washing machine.
When you have ruled out all the pipes you can see, it may be time to get a professional involved to get behind your walls.
Taking preventative measures could lessen the possibility of leaks and water damage. However, even the best-prepared homes are victims to accidents, mishaps or poor, old plumbing.
If you have one or more signs of water damage, call Linthicum plumbers to help avoid further damage.