Water Damage Prevention Checklist
Some things are out of your control, but there are a lot of small things you can do to minimize your risk. We have put together this water damage prevention checklist to help you protect and preserve your property.
- Create a list of emergency contacts, including names and phone numbers for when disasters are discovered. SERVPRO® of Ajax is available 7 days a week 24 hours a day, we can advise you on what to do in the moment, and then come to access the situation asap. Remember mold growth can start within 24-48 hours of water damage. The faster you have help with the clean-up, the less damage there will be to your things and the faster you will be able to get back to a normal life.
- Make sure everyone in the household knows where the main water shutoff valve is. Make sure you know where the other shut off valves in your home are as well, such as your sinks, toilets, hot water tank and washing machine. As soon as a leak is noticed shut off the valve and leave it off until repairs are done. It is also a good idea to shut this off while out of the house for an extended period, such as while you are on vacation. This will help minimize the risk of coming home to unexpected flooding, and mold.
- Make sure all valuables are always stored up off the floor. This is especially important for things like important documents and electronics. Basements are notorious for flooding, so if you are storing items on the floor, use plastic bins; otherwise invest in some simple shelving to keep everything off the ground.
- Clean your gutters (eavestroughs) annually, and ensure downspouts are directed away from the home. Gutters are prone to clogging with leaves and debris, which can lead to water leaking into your home. Consider adding and extension to your downspouts, especially if your yard doesn’t have strong slope away from your home.
- Check your windows and shingles. It’s a good idea to annually check all your windows, ensure the caulking is still in good condition, and re-caulk if necessary. This is a bonus as it may save you money on your utility bills. The same goes for shingles, roofs tend to serve as a significant point of entry for water intrusion into your home, especially since damage on the roof may go unnoticed if it isn’t checked.
- Check basement drainage systems and verify sump pump operation. Make sure to keep your basement flood drains clear. Get a professional to install sump pumps and backwater valves and get them inspected annually.
- Check for signs of leakage and rust. Pay close attention to your hot water tank, toilets, sinks, dish washer, washing machine and refrigerator. Repair at the first signs, don’t wait until it’s to late!