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How to Prevent Water Damage in Fall and Winter

Water damage is a big problem in the United States. According to the Insurance Information Institute, residential property insurance claims for water damage totaled $1.2 billion in 2017, with claims rising by more than 16 percent from 2016. Avoiding water damage starts with a fall checklist. If you have recently experienced some type of water damage, you may already be familiar with these items. However, if you aren’t familiar with this list, having an itemized list to reference in your home could prove valuable. The longer you wait after a water incident occurs before taking action, the more likely it is that property damage will increase and/or additional unnecessary costs will be incurred.

The fall and winter months are a busy time for everyone. Work, school, and family life can take up all your time. If you live in a warmer part of the country there’s already enough to worry about during these months; but if you’re in colder areas you need to be on edge about your property. Water is a common cause for damage during these months so it is important to learn how to prevent it. Even though it may seem like you are protected by the cold temperature, freezing water can still cause serious damage to your house. Freezing water can cause damage to your wood floors, glass, lead paint and more. Some common items that freeze in winter include: air conditioners and boilers; windows; pipes; water heaters; sewer systems; and insulation. 

Water damage can strike without warning. It occurs when water infiltrates your home, whether through your plumbing system, a faulty heating system or other environmental damage. Delaying the repair process can lead to permanent damage if not prevented. Use these tips to prevent water damages and repair them quickly when they occur.

Prep your home for cold weather now.

For the cooler weather, make sure your home is properly insulated and draft-free. Seal off any drafts in doors, windows, attics and basements, and add foam gaskets behind outlets and switch plates. If you have an unfinished basement, make sure the walls have been waterproofed to prevent moisture from seeping in. Insulate pipes that run along unheated or exterior walls with warm insulation sleeves to keep them from freezing.

  • Insulate your home.
  • Drafts are the leading cause of water damage, so make sure you seal all gaps around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping.
  • Waterproofing is a great way to reduce moisture in your basement. If you have an unfinished basement, be sure to install proper ventilation systems that can remove moisture from the air as well as provide heat when necessary (a furnace will do this). Also consider installing a dehumidifier in order to keep humidity at bay during winter months when it tends to rise rapidly due to poor insulation levels combined with high winds outside; this will help prevent mold growth inside homes without costing much money at all.

Clean gutters and downspouts regularly.

If your gutters are clogged, water will pool on your roof and can seep into cracks around the roof line or travel down walls, creating moisture problems that could cause mold growth. If you don’t want to climb a ladder to clean out your gutters yourself, call a professional gutter cleaner service. They may even find leaks in them you don’t know about. Also be sure downspouts are directing water away from your foundation; if they’re not, water can seep into the basement or crawl space through cracks in the foundation wall. Consider installing a rain barrel at the end of each downspout—it will help reduce erosion while providing you with free water for outdoor use next spring and summer.

  • Clean off any debris from the gutters and downspouts.
  • If you don’t want to climb a ladder, hire a professional gutter cleaner service.
  • Downspouts should be directed away from the foundation of your home, or they may cause damage when they are blocked by snowmelt in winter months.

Cleaning your gutters is one of the best ways to prevent water damage. Gutter cleaning should be done at least once a year and more often if you have heavy rain or snowfall in your area. If you live in an area that experiences frequent rains, then it may be necessary to clean gutter drainage systems more frequently than this. Gutters should also be inspected after every heavy rain event so that any debris can be removed from them before they get clogged up with leaves and other debris, which could lead to clogging up drains altogether. Make sure that you’re using quality materials when installing new gutters as well; this will help prevent leaking over time by ensuring that there aren’t any holes in them where insects can get through (or worse yet – causing structural damage).

Check around exterior doors.

Exterior doors are also a potential entry point for water damage, especially in the wintertime when they are most likely to freeze shut. The best way to prevent this is by painting them with an exterior paint that has been specially formulated to withstand cold weather climates. You can also look into installing storm doors on these doors if they are not already there – even if it means adding more than one door

  • Check for cracks in the foundation. Water can seep through a crack, especially if it’s not sealed properly.
  • Check for water stains on the walls. If you have a leaky faucet or toilet that has been left unattended, then any moisture that accumulates will travel up through your walls and stain them over time.
  • Look for signs of damage such as mold or mildew growth on baseboards, cabinets and other areas around windows where there may be standing water from rain or snow meltwater or rain gutters. If you see any mold or fungus growing under these types of surfaces then call an experienced professional immediately.

Check for cracks in the foundation.

As you can see, there are many ways to prevent water damage. If you’ve noticed cracks in your foundation or have experienced leaks, it’s important that you take action immediately.

The first step is to check your home for any cracks or openings where water could enter through the flooring or walls of your home. When looking for these cracks, try moving furniture around so that all areas of the room are visible from every angle and then look closely at each piece of furniture for any signs of damage caused by high humidity levels during this time period (or even earlier). If you see any signs of damage such as scuff marks on wooden surfaces from shoes walking across floors made from different types of material (wood vs vinyl), call us immediately so we can come out and patch up those areas before mold starts forming inside.

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Keep windows closed as much as possible.

While keeping them closed will not prevent a lot of moisture from entering your home, it will help keep out some of the dust that can settle on the window panes. If you must leave the windows open for any reason, make sure they are covered with something like a tarp or other type of cover that will keep out any dust or debris from getting into your house. Use weather stripping around doors and windows where there are no locks or latches – this is especially important during snowstorms when winds can cause damage even when doors and windows are closed tightly.

Keep a watchful eye on pipes and fixtures.

When it’s time to prepare your home for winter and fall, you should keep a watchful eye on pipes and fixtures. You should also check that the water is not leaking from any pipes or fixtures. If there are any signs of damage or leaks, contact a professional to fix them as soon as possible.

  • Keep an eye on pipes and fixtures throughout your house. Make sure they’re always clear of debris and dirt so that they don’t become clogged up with snow or ice during fall or winter storms (which could lead to freezing).
  • Check for leaks by putting one hand over each pipe where it enters your home (or wherever else there might be a leak). If there is any moisture coming out from under either hand after about 30 seconds then call someone immediately.

Get your chimney checked.

The chimney is one of the first things that homeowners think of when they experience water damage. A clogged chimney can cause a lot of problems for your home and its occupants. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, you need to get it cleaned out regularly. The clogged up flue will cause more issues than if there were no problem at all before it gets worse. You should also look into having your chimney checked by professionals regularly so that you know exactly what needs to be done in order to avoid future issues with your heating system or fireplace. A professional can inspect your fireplace for any damage from water and make sure all of the flues are open. If there are any issues with the system, they can be repaired or replaced before winter comes.

Never attempt to clean up water damage on your own. Call a professional.

Water damage can occur at any time of year, but it is most common in the fall and winter seasons. You should never attempt to clean up water damage on your own. If you have a small leak or spill, it is possible to stop the damage from spreading by taking immediate action and calling for professional assistance. Do not attempt to clean up water damage yourself if you are not trained or experienced in this type of work.

If you suspect that your plumbing system has been flooded by a leaky faucet or broken pipe, contact our professional company of water damage recovery in Olathe: Emergency Mitigation Services. We offer 24/7 emergency mitigation services designed specifically for residential water damage in Olathe and are available to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. Our team will arrive at your location as soon as possible with specialized equipment and supplies that allow us to immediately begin cleaning up the affected area without delay.