Home Improvement: How to Spot Water Damage & What to Do About It
Water is one of the main causes of significant damage to homes – and repairs can be extremely expensive. Preventing spring water damage from the spring thaw, and looking for potential problems before they occur should be a priority for every homeowner as temperatures begin to rise.
Water damage can occur with the seasonal melting of ice and snow. Get to the root of the problem before significant damage can occur. Be on the lookout for these five tell-tale signs:
- Puddles of water in the basement
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls in the basement, ground floors and upper floors
- Cracks in concrete floors that have increased in size or are showing discolouration
- Signs of mould and mildew under windows and under baseboards
- Damp smells and musty odours
Better yet, prevent water damage before it occurs. Here are a few tips and best practices you should implement to prevent water damage to your property.
- Remove snow from around the foundation to a place where it can melt and drain away
- Make sure your downspouts extend so they discharge meltwater at least two metres from your foundation
- Ensure downspouts are kept clear and that a path for water to drain away is maintained
- Check window wells for seepage and ensure the window wells are clear of any debris or excess snow
- Check for leaks in the attic, on the upper floors and in the basement
- Look for icicles on the edge of your roof; they're a clear sign of ice dams on the roof, and ice dams can mean a leaky roof
- Safely remove any ice dams or have them removed by professionals. You will want to have the roof inspected as soon as possible to ensure there has been no damage to the membrane for water to seep in
- Clean out roof gutters of any debris before the winter, when it is safe to do so, so that meltwater can flow to the downspouts
- Check that your sump pump is working and have it repaired if necessary. Make sure you have a backup battery in case of power failure
Ask your local CAA Insurance Agent about protecting your home from water damage.