Young woman washing her face and hands with clean water in the morning

Scottsdale Water Damage – Pro Tips On How To Protect Your Home

 

When water gets into unwanted places in your home, it creates bigger problems than a mop can solve. We’re talking foundational issues and lasting cosmetic damage, and that’s before we get to the risks to your health.

Those can include:

  • Mold, which can lead to allergic reactions, respiratory infections, or worse
  • Contaminants in the water can carry cholera, hepatitis, and a host of unwanted microbes.

So what’s a homeowner to do? If your home is at risk for water damage, you certainly want to do everything in your power to prevent the worst-case scenario. If you’ve already experienced water damage, but haven’t had a professional to clean things up, you could be putting yourself and your family in jeopardy.

It’s important to remember that water damage (Scottsdale, as you probably know, can experience flooding, particularly during 100-year storm events) restoration and removal isn’t something a homeowner can be expected to take care of alone. Even after visible water has dried up, it has left many problems behind that require the care and services of trained experts.

 

Plumbing: The #1 Offender of Floods

However, Scottsdale water damage isn’t only caused by floods. In fact, it’s not even mostly caused by floods. Most water damage occurs because of plumbing issues in the home.

Your enemies aren’t heavy rain storms – you should be thinking about your toilet, your pipes, your water heater, your washing machine, and all the other water-using appliances that are a part of your daily life. Fortunately, as Benjamin Franklin would say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and there are things that you can do to minimize your risk factors and protect your home from the ravages of aquatic invasion.

In this article, we’ll talk about damage risk – which takes into account not only replacing whatever caused or allowed the damage, but also the costs to remove anything contaminated by water damage, which can include carpeting, subflooring, drywall, and more. As you read on, know that we aren’t exaggerating your potential costs.

We’re not even giving you the worst case scenario.

So! Without further ado, here are 8 pro tips for preventing water damage in your home.

 

1.Let’s Talk Toilets

Damage risk: $2000-$8000 on average.

In the grand scheme of things, we often overlook how hard our toilet has to work. Unlike most of your plumbing, more than water has to run through those pipes. It is possible – even probable – that during the life of your toilet, you’re going to experience clogging issues ranging from mild to severe.  A good habit to get into is waiting while the toilet flushes. I know lots of us give the handle a tug and move about our day, but that extra few seconds could be enough to catch an impending disaster and employ the plunger in a timely fashion.

However, about three-fourths of toilet issues that result in water damage are due to issues in the supply line, flanges, or fill valves. No one is expecting you to be a plumber – just know when you might need one.

Some things you can work on:

  • Every few months, remove the top tank and make sure everything looks the same.
  • Make sure the fill valve stops the water from running when the tank is finished filling.
  • Have someone inspect your water line annually.

Do all of those, and drastically reduce the odds that your toilet does something horrible. Otherwise, we predict that water restoration and removal contractors will be paying you a visit someday.

 

2. Washing Machine Woes

Damage Risk: $6000 on average.

Your washing machine uses gallons of water.

Guess what else it does?

It spins that water around very quickly. That’s a lot of high-velocity hydration rocketing around your laundry room. It’s worth keeping an eye on. But fear not, there are definitely things you can do to make sure your machine only washes your clothes – not your house.

Maintenance tips:
  • When you aren’t using the machine, turn the valves off. This helps keep them from getting overworked.
  • When you’re doing a load of laundry, stay in the house. Leaving while the washer is running means running the risk of missing it when things get horribly … moist.
  • Have someone inspect that water line annually, as well.
  • Make sure there aren’t any loose connections. You can do this by hand very quickly when you’re already in the area on laundry day.
  • Don’t put the machine flush to the wall, as it will kink up the hoses and connections at the back. That leads to an increased risk of leakage.
  • Consider using reinforced steel hoses.

Following these simple tips will increase the odds that your washing machine only soaks your dirty clothes. That way, you don’t need the services of experts on water restoration, Scottsdale!

 

3. Up on the Roof

Damage risk: You really don’t want to know. It’s a lot.

Your roof does a great job of keeping the rain out – but what about when it doesn’t? Rainfall can get into your home in less obvious ways than a literal hole in the roof.  Missing shingles, clogged gutters, and other minor repairs can give water a way to slowly seep in – doing damage that you aren’t even aware is being done.

To put a stop to that, it’s important that you keep an eye (so to speak) on your roof, and don’t fall into the trap of assuming that if you can’t see a problem, all is well. This is another area where the most effective preventive measure you can take is calling in the experts.

A roof inspection is a very inexpensive way to purchase peace of mind.

Either you or a roofer should be:

  • Replacing damaged, worn, or missing shingles promptly.
  • Repair cracks in the roof or flashing/weatherproofing.
  • Ensure that gutters are clear of obstruction and undamaged.

These unbelievably obvious tasks are your way to ensure that it will take more than some paltry rainstorm to cause water damage in your home.

 

4. Applying Prevention – To Appliances

Damage risk: $1000-$5000 on average – plus the cost of appliances.

Many other appliances in your home also use water lines. In the kitchen, your biggest risks are your dishwasher and icemaker. In both cases, water supply line malfunction is the most common cause of water damage Scottsdale – so pay attention!

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Ensure that the supply hoses are correctly installed, either by choosing a reputable contractor or double-checking the work yourself if you’re handy.
  • DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN the valve. You want it tight, but if you go too far, you can create problems.
  • Check the valve annually; replace it if it’s having issues.
  • Make sure hoses are kink-free.
  • Check for leaks often.

Also on the topic of appliances, your sink can cause trouble as well, if the plumbing goes awry. Damages as high as $5000-$8000 are not unheard of.  So:

  • Check the under-sink plumbing a few times a year, at least.
  • Check all connections for evidence of any rust or corrosion.
  • Keep an eye on your shutoff valve, and occasionally test it to make sure it works.
  • Check for kinks in plumbing lines, particularly if you’ve got plastic plumbing.

Additionally, it’s important to avoid pouring grease down your sink. Even if it’s flushed down with lots of water, grease (which is oil) doesn’t mix with water, and it will congeal inside your pipes, potentially causing things to get backed up. A pretty common “trick” regarding grease involves cutting it with detergent before rinsing it – but while there is some science at work here, it’s not worth the risk. Instead, pour your grease into an empty can and let it harden into a little mass that you can safely throw in the garbage.

 

5. Don’t Get Into HOT WATER

We apologize for the pun above, but your hot water heater really is another major risk factor. Between basic wear-and-tear, sediment pooling, and the general lack of maintenance that most water heaters are plagued by, it’s unlikely yours will live past 12 years old. In fact, 80% of water heaters typically do not.

The biggest risk factor facing your water heater is (surprise, surprise!) rust. That’s because it’s made of metal, and water has this tendency to rust metal. However, a thing called a sacrificial anode is protecting your water heater.  

The anode is a rod of aluminum or magnesium that, for lack of a better way of saying this, rusts so that your water heater will not. It’s a more reactive metal than the rest of your tank, so it rusts faster. Essentially, it’s jumping in front of a bullet for your water heater. We bring this up because if you replace that every few years or so, as it’s resting, you’ll extend the life of your water heater by years.

All it takes to replace an anode is a socket wrench and a few minutes of your time. Check them at least once a year to see how they’re doing. Water heaters also gather sediment, so it’s important every six to twelve months to have it flushed out.

Do these simple tasks – replace the anode rod, flush the water heater to get rid of sediment – and you will drastically reduce the odds of your water heater accidentally giving your home an unwanted hot bath.

 

6. Landscape At Own Risk

We love plants.

But you’ve got to be careful where you’re putting them. This is particularly true of trees, and extra true with willow trees, which are a very popular backyard tree. However, in addition to their beautiful drooping branches, that tree – and many others – is also known for having deep roots. Before planting anything that might want to spread its roots about, make sure you aren’t putting it too close to a sprinkler system, septic tank, underground pipes, or drainage.

 

7. Water Bill Warnings

Want an effort-free way to avoid calling a company for water restoration Scottsdale? We’ve got you.

READ YOUR WATER BILL. If it’s slowly creeping up each month, or if you get one that is peculiarly high, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve got a plumbing leak somewhere in your home. It might be hiding somewhere unlikely, which means you could miss it until it’s too late.

You can go investigating yourself, of course, but if your intrepid search doesn’t find the culprit, don’t assume there isn’t one. Pony up the money to have a professional come and take a look.

Better safe than soaking.

 

8. Snake! That! Drain!

Most homeowners turn to Drano when their sink or tub is clogged. We recommend investing in a drain snake instead. Clogs are inevitable, after all – no matter how finicky you are, there will be hair in the bathtub and bathroom sink, or food in the kitchen drain, or any number of other stoppages.

It’s easy enough to dump a little chemical bath down there, but there are a few reasons we think you shouldn’t:

  • Those chemicals are severely caustic and are eating your pipes in addition to the blockage.
  • Those chemicals are releasing potentially dangerous fumes into your home.
  • They are a one-time solution – every time you get a clog, you have to go buy more and do it again.
  • You only ever need to buy one drain snake – and it will work forever.

And that, Indiana Jones, is why it has to be snakes.

 

We hope this article has been informative and fun. And remember, Scottsdale – water damage restoration is a messy business, but it’s also a real lifesaver. If you follow all the tips in this article, you may never know firsthand how much damage a bad leak can cause. We certainly hope you don’t. But if you do, we’ll be here for you.

We here at AZ Flood Masters are the area’s leading experts on water and flood damage restoration. Whether it’s been caused by bad plumbing or an act of nature, we’ll always have you covered.

Call us today at (602) 726-9759 if you have questions or need help with water damage or water restoration. We’re here 24/7/365 if you have a water damage emergency.

AZ FLOODMASTERS SERVES PHOENIX, SCOTTSDALE, PARADISE VALLEY AND SURROUNDING CITIES.