What To Do When Water Wreaks Havoc in Your HomeBy Teresa Cowart in Blog,For Homeowners. Tagged: Home Maintenance • Homeowners • Homeownership • Teresa Cowart • Water Issues
Water damage is a common issue that comes with owning a home. From a leaky roof to a wet basement, there are a number of water woes a homeowner may experience.
Here is a helpful list of common water issues in the home and how to remedy them!
Heavy rains can often bring a large volume of rain in a short period of time leading to water seeping into a basement.
If the flooding is minor (an inch or two of water), the first thing to do is to create a safe path to the circuit breakers and shut all the basement circuits off.
To remove the water, machines like a shop vac will help. If however you have major flooding and your electric outlets are underwater it is very dangerous to be in the flooded area.
In this case you may have to get the fire department involved or rent a heavier duty machine pump to get rid of the water.
Tip: Once the electric is shut off to the basement and you start to make your way around the water logged area, be extra cautious to where you step and try to have another person there in case of an emergency.
The most common way to prevent a flooded basement is to install a sump pump. Sump pumps will take the excess water coming into your basement and pump it out to the exterior of the house. A recommendation is to also have a back up sump pump that is battery powered in the event electricity goes out during the rain storm.
Another option to prevent flooding is to have features such as a French drain installed in your basement. This prevents groundwater from damaging foundations.
Toilet flooding can happen pretty quickly and if you have children it may happen more often than you think. Children have a knack for flushing foreign objects down the toilet!
If this happens in your home and the water is overflowing out into the bathroom, turn off the water supply to the toilet, which is located behind the bowl or tank. If worse comes to worse and it is still overflowing, shut off your home’s main water supply.
After removing all the water from the toilet bowl, use a plunger or toilet auger to dislodge the object. Next reset the floating cup or ball in the toilet tank to prevent the tank from overflowing. If these attempts have failed, calling a professional plumber is your next route.
There is not a whole lot you can do to prevent a toilet flood. If it is because of children flushing foreign objects, installing a simple children’s safety lock on your toilet may be enough to help this scenario. The best advice is to move quickly when you spot a toilet bowl starting to fill. If water overflow is extensive enough it can leak into the ceiling of the room below, resulting in more damage.
If you have begun to notice drips or wet areas in your home, it’s possible you have a leak in the roof. The first thing to do is to clear the area of objects that may be damaged by the water. Remove the water and dry up any carpeting (remember to dry the carpet pads).
Call your insurance agent to report damage and to get informed about what your policy covers for roof leaks. Start to investigate to find out where the leak is coming from both inside your home and outside on the roof. Pieces of the roof may have blown away or have been deteriorated due to age.
Tip: A leak may not always be from the area right above it as water can move and travel from a different area. The attic is a good area to check on as well. If your roof has been leaking overtime without your knowledge, you may also have damage behind walls or in ceilings so keep this in mind during your inspection.
Finally a call into a reputable roofing contractor should be added to your list.
Shower or Bathtub Leak
If you suspect your bathtub or shower is leaking, it could be the drain, faucet, or the actual tub itself. Depending on the degree of your handyman skills you may be able to fix these problems yourself. If pipes inside your walls are leaking then hiring a plumber may be the best option.
If the flooding is fast and significant, shut off your home water supply right away to prevent any further damage and use a shop vac to get rid of the water. Be sure to air out carpets and padding to prevent mold.
Tip: Stay informed on your homeowner’s insurance policy and what it covers for home interior flooding.
The most important factor to remember for any water damage issue you encounter is to stay safe. Never walk into a flooded area that could have the potential to cause electrocution. If the water is significant enough, it can be hazardous just navigating through it and debris. Be cautious and try to have another person there for a helping hand.
Additional Home Ownership Resources
- How to Tell if You Need a New Roof – Bill Gassett
- Roofing Options For Your Home – Michael Roberts Construction
- 10 Tips to Avoid Water Damage to Your Home – Angie’s List
- Money Saving Tips for New Homeowners – Debbie Drummond
- Home Maintenance Checklist – Better Homes and Gardens
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