Nobody fully prepares you for the realities of homeownership — especially when unexpected flooding strikes, leaving you with a drawn-out headache and damage to your investment.
Luckily, there are easy ways to avoid common causes of water loss before they even start.
Understand your washing machine hoses
Washing machines transfer pressurized water through hoses at the back of the appliance. Those hoses commonly wear down over time and can leak or burst when compromised.
Many washing machines come with rubber hoses. This isn’t an immediate concern; however, we recommend upgrading to braided stainless steel hoses. The steel encases a rubber hose, creating a burst-resistant bond. Sometimes the braided steel can puncture the rubber hose if it becomes bent or kinked, so try to find hoses with an elbow at the end to prevent this.
Inspect your hot water tank
Everyone has heard a hot water tank horror story — from it breaking during a cold snap to leaking in the middle of the night.
Most hot water tanks last approximately 10 to 15 years but can show signs of damage much earlier. Homeowners should perform regular visual inspections of their tanks. Immediately connect with an expert in your area if you notice any of these warning signs:
- Rust-coloured water
- Uneven temperatures
- Valve or pipe leaks
- Unwanted water around your tank
- Unusual noises
It’s wise to have an expert contractor inspect your tank annually as well.
Know your sump pump basics
A sump pump is a device that helps prevent flooding in your basement by activating when water levels rise. It could be your saving grace in a water disaster.
Here are some ways to maintain your sump pump and maximize its life:
- Replace your pump every 10 years or sooner
- Conduct seasonal tests after the winter melt
- Test the pump by pouring water into the pit; if the pump doesn’t discharge water, you may have a faulty switch
- Ensure your exterior discharge line leads away from your home and that water is flowing out of the pipe
- Install an alarm to alert you of a higher-than-usual water level within the pit
- Never use an extension cord or power bar
- Consider purchasing a backup generator
Learn about water leakage detection technology
This is a major preventative measure that will one day be as common as smoke detectors.
Water leakage detection systems work by monitoring water flow patterns to detect irregularities. They can alert you of leaks directly to your smartphone so you can act quickly. Be sure everyone in your household knows how to manually shut off your main water valve in case your system detects a leak.
Some types of systems are capable of automatically shutting off your main water valve, minimizing the damage even further.
We recommend you install leakage detectors in areas where water escape is most common (such as the laundry room, bathrooms, and under sinks).