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Water damage is every Sarasota, FL, homeowner’s worst nightmare. It’s not only expensive to fix but it can hurt your home’s foundation and even lead to health problems. If you’re disciplined about fixing small problems as soon as you notice them, then you can easily prevent most water damage from occurring in the first place.

1. Clean Your Gutters Regularly

Have you ever looked inside of your gutters after a rainstorm and found them filled with twigs, leaves and dirt? During the rainy season here in Sarasota, it’s important to check your gutters regularly for natural debris. In addition to checking and cleaning your gutters, installing gutter guards is an effective way to help make sure your drainage systems keep working properly throughout the year.

2. Don’t Skip Out On Roof Maintenance

A leaky roof is one of the most common types of water damage. The Sarasota rain can really give your roof a beating, so it’s prudent to check for damage at least a few times per year.

3. Fortify Your Home’s Foundation With Extra Soil

Soil naturally absorbs large amounts of water, so it makes sense to have as much of it around your foundation as possible. A lot of homeowners put down extra soil to form slopes that create a natural drainage system, and we encourage all of our clients to look into this strategy.

4. Cut Your Trees and Shrubs

If the trees and shrubs on your property start growing their roots into your pipes, your drainage system, your watering system or your sanitation system, you can expect to see flooding and other water damage show up sooner rather than later. Check with your landscaping company to make sure that they keep vegetation away from your water system, and always allow for ample room when you’re planting new trees.

5. Be Vigilant About Maintaining Your Sprinkler System’s Health

Since Sarasota doesn’t usually reach freezing temperatures in the winter months, you don’t have to worry about the the pipes in your sprinkler system freezing. During the summer months, however, you’ll need to be vigilant about keeping pools of water away from your foundation. Standing water from your sprinkler system can settle up against your foundation and cause some unnecessary damage.

6. Seal Any Cracks in Your Concrete Immediately

The second that you notice a crack in the concrete of your flooring, your patio or your walkway, it’s important to take action immediately. It’s easy to seal the most common cracks with a bit of caulk, and you can typically handle the larger ones with a concrete patch.

7. Learn How to Shut Off Your Water Main

If you ever see flooding or leaks inside of your home, you’ll need to know where your water main’s shut-off valve is located. It’s always important to know where this is in case the need arises. To find the shut-off valve, look near the water meter or close to the foundation.

8. Check Your Washer and Dryer for Leaks

Leaky appliances are one of the most common causes of residential water damage, so it pays to put a little time into keeping your washer and dryer working properly. If you notice standing water in your laundry room, then don’t hesitate to call a professional to come out and do an inspection. Be vigilant about monitoring the area by your refrigerator as well.

9. Schedule Regular Inspections for Your Water Heater

If you have an older water heater, then have a professional inspect the unit for rust and leakage at least once a year. In between inspections, pay attention to the color of your tap water. Dark or rusty water is usually a sign of corrosion in your water heater, and corrosion can give your pipes all kinds of problems.

10. Check the AC Condensate Line in Your Home

If you’re like most Sarasota homeowners that we talk to, then you probably run the AC from May through October to combat the Florida heat. When you work your AC that hard, however, it’s possible for the condensate line to accumulate enough biologic matter to clog the pipe. When this happens, the drain pan can overflow, causing damage to the ceiling, floor or walls, depending on where your air handler is located. It’s a good idea to periodically check that the condensate pipe is draining the water outside of your home as it should. Look for the white PVC pipe dripping water outside near your condensing unit. If your AC is running and the pipe isn’t dripping, you most likely need to clear the pipe. You can extract the clog using a shop vac or call an HVAC technician.

11. Reinforce All of Your Home’s Entry Points With Extra Sealant

Even if you do a great job of maintaining your roof, water can still get in through your home’s windows and doors. Sealing your windows with caulk is an effective way to keep heavy rain outside where it belongs, and you can apply weather stripping around loose door jambs as an additional layer of protection. Airtight doors and windows also keep more air inside of your home and knock a few dollars off of your monthly energy bill.

12. Check Your Kitchen Sink for Slow Drainage

Certain types of food can clog up your sink more than others. Coffee grounds and potato peels, for example, are notorious for backing up kitchen pipes all around America. If your kitchen sink is taking much longer than normal to drain itself, then make it a priority to get that food out of the drain right away.

13. Check Your Bathroom Faucets

A leaky bathroom faucet can start slowly seeding the right conditions for biological growth to grow under the countertops and in the cabinets, and even the highest-quality sink fixtures can develop minor cracks. Your bathroom faucet’s attachment points are the most vulnerable, so give extra attention to the handles and the drain lever.

14. Seal Any Gaps in Your Bathroom Tiles

Whenever you step out of the shower or climb out of the bathtub, you’re taking excess water with you and dripping that water over your bathroom tiles. As long as your tiles are sealed with grout that’s fully intact, then this excess water won’t cause any problems. If you notice gaps in the tile grout on the floor or wall, you should seal them right away.

15. Keep Cooking Oils Away from the Sink

Cooking with oils is sometimes necessary, but you don’t want liquid fat to come anywhere near your drainage system. If you casually pour grease, olive oil or melted butter down your kitchen sink when you wash your dishes, then these fats could end up clogging your drainage system when they harden. Instead, pour leftover cooking oils into a throwaway container.

16. Turn Off the Water If You’ll Be Gone for More Than 24 Hours

Even if you’re just going out of town for the weekend, it’s a good idea to turn off the water to your home while you’re away. If one of your pipes springs a leak with nobody around to notice it, you’re going to wish you had taken this advice. Fortunately, turning off your water valve only takes a few minutes and no tools are needed.

If you currently have water damage in your Florida home, our specialists can help patch everything up in a hurry. Our plumbers handle jobs of all sizes, and you can always reach a technician through our 24/7 emergency line if you ever need extra assistance. To schedule an appointment with Sarasota’s most reliable plumbing repair experts, call Aqua Plumbing & Air today.

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