Water damage can be a costly headache for homeowners, not to mention the potential health risks associated with mold growth. As a city that experiences both heavy snowfall in the winter and strong thunderstorms during summer, Ottawa residents need to be prepared and vigilant in maintaining their homes to prevent water damage.
At FIRESTONE Restoration, our team of experts can handle water damage restoration and mold remediation. However, prevention is always better than dealing with the aftermath. Here are some practical tips to help you maintain your home year-round to prevent water damage and maintain the overall integrity of your property.
Keep Gutters and Downspouts Clean
Your home's gutter system directs water away from your foundation. Clean gutters and downspouts at least twice a year – ideally, once in the spring and once in the fall – to ensure proper water flow.
Make sure downspouts extend 5 feet from the house to prevent water seepage into the basement or crawl space. Installing gutter guards can reduce the frequency of cleaning and help prevent debris buildup, reducing your home's risk of water damage.
Preventing Water Damage in Ottawa Inspect Your Roof and Attic Regularly
Ottawa's extreme weather conditions can damage your roof, making it susceptible to leaks and water damage. Schedule regular roof inspections, ideally before winter and after heavy storms. Look for broken or missing shingles, water stains, and signs of aging or damage.
Additionally, inspect your attic for leaks or insulation issues that may need to be addressed. Timely detection and repairs can save you expensive repairs in the future.
Regularly Check Window and Door Seals
Windows and doors can be common entry points for water, especially during a heavy rainstorm. Inspect the seals around your windows and doors regularly for cracks, gaps, and deterioration. If you notice any issues, use weather-stripping and caulking to repair the seals, or consider replacing the windows or doors if damage is extensive.
Frozen pipes are a common cause of water damage in Ottawa due to the region's frigid temperatures. Insulate the exposed pipes in your home, such as those in the attic, basement, or crawl space, to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
Installing heat tape on your pipes can also provide added protection. If you're travelling or leaving your home vacant during winter, set the thermostat at a minimum of 10°C to protect your pipes from freezing.
Seal Cracks and Holes
Water can enter your home through cracks and holes in your walls, foundation, plumbing, or basement. Inspect your home periodically to identify any such areas that might need repair. Seal these gaps using a waterproof sealant or caulking. A professional waterproofer or foundation contractor may need to be consulted for more extensive maintenance or waterproofing jobs.
Install a Sump Pump and Maintain It
A sump pump is a valuable investment for homeowners in Ottawa, as it helps prevent basement flooding and water damage. Make sure to inspect and maintain your sump pump regularly. Clean and test it at least once a year to ensure smooth functioning, paying special attention to the float switch, discharge lines, and check valves.
During heavy rain events or during the spring thaw, check your sump pump to make sure it's functioning properly to avoid costly water damage.
Monitor Your Water Bill and Install a Water Leak Detection System
A sudden increase in your water bill could indicate a hidden leak. Check for wet spots or dampness around floors, walls, and ceilings. If you don't notice any obvious signs, consider calling a professional to identify and fix the leak before it leads to water damage. Installing a water leak detection system in your home can provide early warning of potential issues, minimizing the risk of water damage from undetected leaks.
Maintain Your Landscaping and Grading
Ensure that your property's grading directs water away from your foundation. Fill in any low spots or depressions that could lead to standing water. Planting trees and shrubs away from your home can also prevent roots from causing damage to sewer lines or foundations.
In addition, design your irrigation system or landscape features to prevent excessive water buildup around your property, which could contribute to water damage.
Regularly Inspect and Maintain Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy and comfortable indoor environment. However, if not properly maintained, it can contribute to excess moisture and humidity in your home, leading to potential water damage and mold growth. Schedule regular maintenance for your HVAC system and check for signs of moisture or leaks around the equipment.
A well-maintained home can minimize the risk of water damage in your Ottawa home throughout the year, saving you time and money and preserving the overall integrity of your property and indoor environment.
If you experience water damage or mold growth despite taking these preventive measures, remember that FIRESTONE Restoration is here to help you with water damage restoration and mold remediation services.
Our team of professionals is certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). We are committed to providing fast and reliable assistance to homeowners, property managers, business owners, construction professionals, and insurance professionals.
We use the latest equipment and technologies to keep your property safe and fresh. Contact us today at 613-695-6319 for water damage restoration or mold remediation needs.