Whether you are a long-time homeowner or are looking to buy a new home, consider fitting this water damage checklist into your routine.
Outside Your Home
The first target for water damage to your home is the outside integrity of the structure. Begin by checking that the first line of defense is in tact.
Check your downspouts, ensuring that they point away from your home and are not in any way damaged. Make sure your gutter and downspouts are properly attached and functioning correctly during rain.
Check your shingles, ensuring that none are cracked. This can lead to a leak in your attic.
Finally, check your exterior windows, ensuring there is no separation or soft spots. If your home is not sitting on the highest point of your property, water damage to the foundation of your home or in the basement is more likely. If this is the case for your home, make sure to perform the above maintenance checks more often, especially after a heavy rain.
In Your Attic
Your attic is particularly susceptible to water damage, being that it is the highest point within your home. If you found any cracked shingles or damage to your roof during the outdoor check, your attic will be the next place to look for signs of damage.
Check your chimney area, ensuring it is dry and free from mold.
Check your roof vents where the planes of each vent join together, ensuring the area where the roof meets the wall is dry and free from mold.
Finally, check that the insulation is dry and free from mold.
In Your Basement
If the outside and attic of your home are both free from water damage, the next place to look is your basement. We already discussed the increased chance of basement water damage if your home rests in a valley, but there are other risks that should be addressed, as well. Water damage in your basement can lead to irreparable damage to flooring and drywall if not remedied properly.
Check your water heater, ensuring that there is no leak.
Check the floor beneath your washing machine for signs of flood damage.
Throughout Your Home
Once the hot spots for water damage have been looked at and potentially repaired, finish out your checklist with these final warning signs that may appear throughout the rest of your home.
Check for water rings on your ceilings or walls.
Check for soft or sagging spots on your floor near your tubs, showers, sinks, dishwasher, and washing machine.
Check for warped or cracked flooring.
Check for water marks, warping, or discoloration inside the cabinets underneath your sinks.
Check for patch jobs that may have been quick fixes to a much deeper problem when shopping for a new home.
Check for rust on your hot water heater, which could indicate a previous leak.
Follow these steps to make sure your home is free from water damage and to prevent future water damage from occurring.