When someone makes a move into a new rental or consider purchasing a home, most don't think about water damage. However, pre-existing damage or potential threats can dramatically reduce the value of a property, lead to the damage of your belongings, and create health hazards. Getting the facts about current water damage and threats, and then being proactive about addressing these issues is key during your move-in process. Leaky pipes, malfunctioning appliances, and condensation are sources of water damage that can affect your quality of living and your water bill.
Water Bill Spikes
When you receive you water bill, does it fail to make sense? Your money might be dripping away in the form of leaks and spills. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a single faucet that drips once per minute wastes up to 34 gallons per year. This can really add up, especially if your toilet is not working efficiently, and if your home has other leaks.
Learn how to check your water meter at home. If you're not sure, contact your local utilities company to get more information. Keep a close eye on the meter. The folks at Water Damage Defense recommend a simple test in their recent Water Damage By the Numbers infographic: note the measurement, then avoid using water for two hours. If the measurement has changed, then you probably have a leak.
Unseen leaks won't only cause water damage to your belongings and home structure, but it can lead to dangerous mold growth. This is no laughing matter, since mycotoxins from mold can cause severe allergies, breathing problems, and chronic illnesses. Mold growth may or may not be visible, especially if it is taking place behind walls. If you live in a home that develops condensation on walls or windows, make sure that the space is properly ventilated and even wiped down, to prevent moisture accumulation.
If you suspect a leak, contact your landlord or hire a contractor to address the plumbing issue first. If mold is discovered, hire a professional to clean it – they will have the appropriate filter masks and cleaners to deal with the issue safely. If you're a renter, check your local department of health to see what your tenant responsibilities are regarding mold assessment and cleanup.
Whether your home is affected by water damage concerns or not, it's a good practice to be prepared for any upcoming incidents. One of the easiest ways to monitor water levels is to equip your home with water sensors, emergency shut off systems, and backup pump systems. For example, if your washing machine or icemaker suddenly springs a leak, then the system will detect a rising water level and switch off the flow of water. This can save you thousands of dollars in damage.
Before you move into a new home or rental, it is very important to examine a property for current water damage and threats. Not only will this awareness help you save money on your water bill, but it will also increase the safety of your household. Equipping your house with preventative devices can also save your home investments in the long run.