Water Damage: how to protect your home

A few simple precautions can reduce the risk of serious water damage to your home. Remember, severe water damage can have serious financial implications including affecting your home's market value. So the first step is prevention. However, If you do have a problem, the first step is to use your stopcock to cut off the flow of water and minimise the damage caused. Research shows that one in three homeowners don't know where their stopcock is located, so make sure you know where it is. These next 3 points will get you up to speed on what you need to do:

1. Avoid water damage from leaks
  • Look out for leaks in the piping under your kitchen and bathroom sinks
  • Fix an external dripping tap as soon as possible to avoid water damage through the outside wall
  • Regularly check your washing machine and dishwasher pipes for leaks, bulging or cracking. Get new pipes fitted if you spot any problems
  • Ask someone to check your home if you're away for a while. This should help ensure leaking or burst pipes are spotted early and damage is kept to a minimum (tell them where the stopcock is)
  • If you're planning on doing some DIY, remember to check for hidden pipes with a detection device before starting work in order to avoid accidentally drilling or hammering into pipes
2. Keep your drains clear     
  • Avoid putting any food waste down the sink as this can cause a blockage
  • Never pour fat down the sink. Instead, let it cool and then put it in a container for disposal
  • Regularly clear out basins, baths and shower drains with a suitable cleaning agent to prevent blockages
  • Use a plumber's snake to remove any small blockages from your plumbing
3. Water damage through Rain
  • Often a water leak at a window or door is the result from a breakdown in the connection between the frame and the wall. To prevent leaks, caulk the window or door where it meets the exterior siding. Leaks also occur when weather stripping wears out. You may have to remove the operable portion of the window to find the weather stripping.
  • Penetrating damp is classed as any water that finds its way inside from the outside. Overflowing gutters, missing roof tiles, down spouts, leaking pipes, damaged pointing, cladding, flashing or render are all sources of penetrating damp. You will need to eliminate the moisture at its source and repair or replace the damaged part.

Important Safety Note: Most water damage can lead to standing water, often in difficult to access areas, which in turn helps the spread of dengue fever. To prevent the spread of dengue fever, you must first prevent the breeding of its vector, the Aedes mosquito. The Aedes mosquito is easily identifiable by its distinctive black and white stripes on their body. It prefers to breed in clean, stagnant water easily found in our homes. You can get rid of the Aedes mosquito by frequently checking and removing stagnant water in your premises.   Find out what you can do to prevent the Aedes mosquito from breeding when you at home or before going for a holiday. dengue.gov.sg

Have you got water damage and need a plumber?

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