How to Prevent Water Damage from Appliances and Pipes
Whenâ€™s the last time you made sure all your home appliances were in good shape? Most of us tend to forget details like how old our water heater is or the last time we replaced the dishwasher hose, but those small oversights can have serious health and financial consequences.
Leaking appliances and pipes are one of the leading causes of home water damage, which can be expensive to fix and have lingering effects on your familyâ€™s health due to mold growth that may go unnoticed behind a heavy appliance. These are some ways to prevent your pipes and appliances from leaking in the first place.
- In the kitchen:
- Icemaker â€“ The constant opening and closing of the icemaker valve creates a wave of pressure that can crack or even burst the refrigeratorâ€™s water pipes. Because it can be hard to detect a damaged pipe behind the fridge, the best way to protect your kitchen floor from a leaking icemaker is to install a leak sensor.
- Dishwasher â€“ To keep your dishwasher from overflowing, itâ€™s recommended that you replace the water supply hose every 3 years. A braided steel hose is the most durable option. Similar to the icemaker, you can also install a flood alarm to quickly alert you if your dishwasher is malfunctioning.
- In the bathroom:
- Bathtub â€“ Inspect your bath and shower for signs of mold or holes in the grout that water can leak through. To prevent the formation of mold and mildew, remove the old caulking, thoroughly disinfect the area and recaulk.
- Sinks â€“ Both in the bathroom and in the kitchen, regularly check pipes underneath the sink for rust and replace them with a non-corrosive material like PVC if need be.
- In the laundry room:
- Washing machine â€“ Similar to the dishwasher, you need to replace your washerâ€™s water supply hose every 3 years. Itâ€™s also a good idea to get into the habit of turning off the hot and cold-water valves behind the machine in-between washes. This way, even if a hose does burst, you wonâ€™t have to worry about it suddenly flooding your laundry room while youâ€™re not around.
- In the basement:
- Water heater â€“ Your water heater should be replaced every 10 years and inspected by a professional technician every 5. You should regularly monitor the area around the heater for puddles and mold so that you can fix any problems before they spiral out of control.
- Frozen pipes â€“ Be prepared for the cold by insulating your pipes with heat tape or a similar material before the temperature drops. When water in the pipes freezes, it expands and can cause cracks to form. If you notice that your pipe has burst, shut off the water valve immediately and call a plumber. If the pipe is frozen but hasnâ€™t cracked, you can try to thaw it with a hairdryer or warm towel.
Have a Plan Ready When Disaster Strikes
Despite being proactive about your appliance maintenance, the various machines in your home may still break unexpectedly, even if theyâ€™re brand new or have recently been repaired. When this happens, just wiping up the floor may not be enough â€“ you may have serious water damage underneath your floors and in your walls. The longer water sits under an appliance or drips from a pipe, the greater the loss and the greater the risk of mold growth. If you experienced water damage due to a leaking appliance or pipe and live in the Denver, Co. area, call the experts at to Restoration Logistics to take care of the problem right away.