Water damage is a nightmare that no homeowner wants to experience. The extent of the damage can be severe and the cost of repair can be significant.
Proactive maintenance is the most important way that homeowners can prevent water damage. Here are some of the most common components in the home that should be regularly examined.
The water heater can be one of the main points of failure in the home. An unfortunately common scenario that we regularly see is a family that leaves for vacation, work, or school and ends up returning to find that their water heater has ruptured.
Once the base of a water heater loses its integrity, water can flow out at a pace of 30 to 40 gallons a minute. This would result in a significant amount of damage in the area the water heater is located. The basement would become flooded, or if the water heater is on the first floor, the flood will spread into the basement below. This can all be prevented with proper maintenance.
We suggest a full water heater inspection every one to two years, including flushing the sediment inside of the tank to reduce the chance of corrosion. Any sediment buildup is rough enough to scratch the glass lining inside of the tank. Additionally, any hard water buildup in the form of calcium and magnesium will end up accumulating at the bottom of the tank. This creates unnecessary stress on the water heater, and the gas burner has to run longer to heat the water.
There is also a sacrificial anode in the tank that attracts any of the corrosive properties in the water. Instead of harmful corrosion occurring on the tank itself, the anode will be the first component to deteriorate. We inspect and offer to replace this anode, because it is a highly important factor in preserving the integrity of the tank.
Because of the hard water in our area, the average lifespan of a water heater is about 10 years. Before the water heater fails, many homeowners decide to have it replaced proactively so they will not have to worry about any potential leaks or failures. That is one of the reasons why we provide a trade-in allowance for any water heater that is older than 8 years. We want our clients to be aware of the potential concerns of water heater lifespans, and we want to make replacements as easy as possible.
There is no way to detect in advance that a water heater is going to leak. This is why preventative maintenance is so important.
Washing Machine Hoses
People don’t often think about the hoses on their washing machine because they tend to be out of sight and out of mind. These are the hoses that connect the washing machine to the shutoff valve and the wall. If you were to read the owner’s manual for your washing machine, it probably suggests that you shut off the water after every use. This is because the hose is relatively inexpensive and made out of rubber that can easily become punctured or broken due to physical stress.
Sometimes a hose failure will be the size of a pinhole, resulting in a small water leak. Other times it will fail completely, resulting in up to 40 gallons of water a minute spilling onto the floor. This can quickly cause flooding to all lower levels of the home, resulting in expensive damages. The last thing a homeowner wants is to return to a horrific mess due to something that could have been caught early on.
The first way to prevent this from happening is by simply turning off the valve when the washing machine is not in use. Secondly, you can visually inspect the hoses regularly to make sure there are no bulges or visual anomalies indicating weak spots. Finally, we offer a braided stainless steel hose that is much stronger and more durable.
If you would like to learn more about how you can prevent water damage from occurring in your home, give us a call today.