Maintaining Your Greatest Asset - Preventing Water Damage

Many of you live in homes that are 10-20 years old. Maintenance has been relatively minor to this point, but problems may be silently building up without your awareness. Over the next couple of months we are going to review preventative maintenance issues that you should consider implementing.Water Damage Potential – Water damage is one of the leading causes of unplanned and unnecessary home repairs. Although damage from moisture can be obvious, there are also many cases where homeowners are totally unaware. Water has the capacity to affect every part of a property, including structural elements. On a positive note, there are a number of easy ways to tell if your home is suffering from water damage. Take the time to inspect all the plumbing and any wet areas in or around your home for signs of leaks. Once identified, you should not hesitate to call in a professional. A few quick ways to identify potential water leaks:1. Smell – musty smells that might remind you of rotting organic matter are not normal in a home2. Visual - if you see black areas around your shower, tub, toilet, baseboards, etc.3. Water-Stained Ceilings4. Discolored, bulging walls around doors and windows5. Exterior - notice the flashing around the eves of your roof, and inspect for swelling, gaps or openings.Things to Remember:• Hot water heaters have a life expectancy of 10-12 years. Hot water heaters have been the leading cause of water damage claims in the United States. The exterior signs of interior metal corrosion of a water heater will never be seen from the outside of the unit. Simply because, most of the damage is occurring from the inside out. Therefore, predicting when one of these units will go out is next to impossible. This is a silent, hidden erosion process of the tank itself that begins when the unit is installed, and usually penetrates all the way through, and the bottom falls out, somewhere between years 10-12. I highly recommend replacing your existing tank units with tankless water heating units before a catastrophic event.• Check the areas around your toilets, dishwashers, washing machine connections, showers and tubs for signs of dark staining, indicating water leakage. In a shower, the sealer on the grout will actually be the preventative force that, if broken, would allow internal water leaks behind the shower walls. Therefore, it is critical that you have the grout in your shower chemically cleaned and re-sealed on a regular and repeating basis. Showers that are used 2-3 times per day will typically need to be cleaned every year.• Check ceilings or walls for water spots. Periodically check the attic crawl space for dampness or signs of a roof leak. Even a relatively new roof can be damaged in a hail storm. Early detection of roof leaks will save a lot of headaches later.• Check seals around windows and doors for leaks. You will notice that you have an issue if you see fogging between the window panes or water streaking.• Check for bulges in siding indicating water damage in the wood. Look for peeling oil based paint – this is another indication of potential water damage.Your home is your greatest asset and with proper maintenance you can avoiddamage and costly repairs.About Us: The Viking Craftsman Inc, award-winning contractor, combines true craftsmanship with personalized service. Specialties include additions, kitchens, bathrooms, home theaters, and outdoor living spaces in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Richardson, Allen and Dallas, Texas..