Water can be the secret destroyer of your home. Sure, we all think about water damage during hurricane season, but there are plenty of other times here in Florida when water can sneak up on us, and cause big problems. Here are eight tips to help you protect your home from water damage.
1. Maintain gutters. Check gutters to ensure that they are not clogged with debris. Then install leaf guards. Clogs lead to overflow, which in turn creates pooled water around your home’s foundation. Also check downspouts and install extenders to direct water away from your home.
2. Change the grade. Add soil around your home’s foundation so that the ground close to your foundation is higher than the ground further out in your yard. This encourages water to run away from your house.
3. Keep trees in check. Species such as silver maple have root systems that can invade pipes. Plant such trees at least 20 away from your home or choose small species such as white fir, which need only 10 feet of clearance.
4. Check your water heater for slow leaks. Unnoticed leaks rust the appliance and cause nearby walls and the floor to decay. Install a drip pan beneath your water heater. For the $10 cost of a drip pan you may avoid thousands of dollars in damages.
5. Toilets are a major source of home water leaks. Check for leaks around the base and for condensation around the bowl. Don’t flush and run. Stay near the toilet to ensure that it flushes completely. A slow refill can indicate a clog or other trouble somewhere down the line. And, of course, avoid flushing bulky material and foreign objects.
6. If you have a washing machine, check its hoses regularly. A prime place for leaks is at the point where a hose connects to the machine or a drain. Look too for cracks and dryness in the hoses and make sure that they have room to move when the machine agitates. Hoses that are crammed into a tight space are subject to abrasion and leaks.
7. And, of course, there is the roof. If you are building a new home or replacing an old roof, check these three things: a) The roof’s pitch. Steep roofs allow rainwater to run off rapidly, which encourages pooling, b) The roofing material. Cedar shingles, for instance, dry out and crack in the Florida sun, and c) The installation quality. Be sure that the roofers use good quality flashing and waterproof cement.
8. If your home has a serviceable roof, keep it that way with good maintenance. Ensure that the roof is clear of debris and avoid walking on it. Ventilate your attic, as the heat rising from your home can actually melt asphalt shingles. Check also for water stains on the inside ceiling of your home. This is a good way to catch small leaks early, before they do major damage.
Home maintenance against water damage takes just an hour or two a year. In return you could save thousands of dollars, as well as a lot of aggravation.
Partnership with Rytech
Olympus Insurance understands the stress that water damage can cause, which is why we have developed an innovative partnership with Rytech, a leader in residential water damage restoration and moisture control. As an Olympus customer you have access to Rytech’s professional services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Here’s how it works: As soon as you discover water damage, contact a member of our claims team by calling Olympus at 866-281-2242. If you wish, you may contact Rytech’s emergency service line at 800-865-8787. Rytech will respond promptly and work quickly. There is no waiting, no need to obtain multiple estimates and no hassling with intermediaries. Rytech’s trained technicians will apply their professional drying process techniques to your property and, when work is completed, issue a full, written report. Plus, they will work closely with Olympus’s claims team to save you time and headaches.
This service is available to all Olympus customers and is another example of our commitment to superior customer care. We hope you never have to deal with water damage at your home or vacation property, but if you do, Olympus has you covered!