Few things are more overwhelming than cleaning your home after a flood. In addition to removing loads of misplaced water and avoiding live electrical lines, you might also worry about longstanding damage such as warped wood and mold growth. Fortunately, you might be able to avoid problems by doing these two things today:
1: Install Point-Of-Use Water Detection Systems
You might know where your water shutoff valves are, but what happens if that appliance starts overflowing when you aren't home to turn off the water? If you are like most people, you might discover an unsightly, difficult-to-clean home when you return home at the end of a long workday. Fortunately, you can buy special devices that will detect rising water levels.
These devices are called point-of-use water detection systems. Although point-of-use water detection systems are available under a huge range of brand names, they all work in relatively the same way. The systems work in tandem with a low-voltage electrical wire that lies on the floor beside your plumbing fixtures. If they detect water, they can alert you or spring into action to cut the flow of water.
Keep in mind that there are two basic types of point-of-use water detection systems: passive and active. Passive models work by sounding an alarm or a light if the wire is exposed to water. These systems are typically battery-powered and easy to install. However, they won't actually make any physical changes to your home plumbing if they detect problems. On the other hand, active systems are installed between your appliance water line and your actual plumbing fixture. If the wire detects moisture, the device will automatically close a valve that keeps water from supplying your fixture—preventing floods.
If you are interested in installing active point-of-use water detection systems, contact a professional plumber for help. Plumbers can use special putty to keep the joinery between the water detection device and your main water lines strong so that it won't leak in the future. Plumbers can also test the devices to make sure that they are operating properly under a wide range of circumstances.
2: Inspect Plumbing Appliances Regularly
Spotting a flood early is crucial, but what if you could avoid problems altogether? Although you might be tempted to "set-it-and-forget-it" when it comes to your plumbing appliances, they need to be inspected regularly to check for problems. Here are a few things you should look for:
- Water Heaters: Over time, the internal protective coating that keeps your water heater tank from rusting can erode away, leaving that metal susceptible to rust. Unfortunately, rust and holes aren't the only way that heaters can overflow and leave you with a mess. If you have hard water, sediment can collect inside of your tank and get heavy enough to break out the bottom—sending water gushing into your home. To avoid both problems, install a water softener and check your system regularly for signs of corrosion.
- Washing Machines: Washing machine hoses can crack, bend, or break—creating heavy leaks. Replace your rubber hoses with the woven metal variety, and don't ignore a leaking washing machine.
- Ice Makers: Believe it or not, even your icemaker can cause a serious home flood. The copper hose that supplies water to your refrigerator can become crimped or disconnected, flooding your home when you least suspect it. To avoid this problem, experts recommend leaving a four-inch gap between your refrigerator and the wall to prevent crimping, and having the line checked regularly for damage.
To prevent a myriad of household floods in a single afternoon, hire a professional plumber to come in and inspect your appliances. It might seem like an added expense, but it pales in comparison to the costs of cleaning up a flood. For more information, try this web-site.