How to Prevent Water Damage to Your Roof and Ceilings
Nobody wants to deal with water damage to their home’s roofs and ceilings. The costs of repairs to, as well as the replacement of, your household items are enough to drive anyone insane. No need to panic yet - we have a guide on preventing water damage to your roof and ceilings.
What Causes Water Damage?
- Bad Plumbing
Bad plumbing is one of the most common sources of water damage. This occurs when water pipes in the bathroom or kitchen break or leak due to wear-and-tear or temperature fluctuations. Burst pipes can have disastrous results unless the water supply valve is turned off quickly. Pipes located in basements or installed in exterior walls can also freeze during the winter, and this makes them more susceptible to leakage later on.
- A Faulty Water Heater or Appliance
A water heater has the potential to corrode or wear over time, therefore, it is essential to be vigilant and arrange to have faulty parts or the entire unit replaced at the first sign of damage. This is critical in order to avoid water damage. Hot water tanks and washing machines are the two most common appliances that cause water damage within your home due to weakened hoses and cracked pipes. Although other household appliances, including your refrigerator and dishwasher, are also susceptible to deterioration and leaks.
- Leaking AC
If the external or internal AC unit is placed near a damaged ceiling, it will most likely drip water that will eventually destroy the rest of the ceiling and flood the floor. The damaged water logged ceilings have a major potential to collapse.
- Clogged HVAC Pipes
The HVAC system has the potential to hold large quantities of water, which must be transferred outside. If the unit breaks or its pipes become clogged, the water will back up and be spilled on your floor.
- Bad Weather
Heavy rains have the tendency to make their way into residences, especially if there is preexisting damage on the walls and window frames. The rain can easily enter basements and will quickly flood an entire area. Sometimes homes are especially susceptible to flooding, especially if they are located close to rivers or lakes and this might overflow rivers due to the heavy rain. Natural disasters cause rivers to overflow, and hurricanes can also strike thereby resulting in the potential flooding of entire cities.
- Clogged Gutters
Gutters will not be able to drain water properly if they have a blockage caused by debris such as leaves and branches. When this happens, water flows over the edges of the gutters and runs down the side of your home. This can cause water to seep into the home around your foundation.
How Do You Know if Your Roof or Ceiling Is Damaged?
Here are a few of the most common types of ceiling damage and how to identify if there is damage to your ceiling:
- Cracks and Spidering
Ceiling cracks can form on your ceiling in either spiderweb patterns or straight lines. Cracks are a red flag that ceiling problems could get worse quickly.
- Bowed or Sagging Ceilings
Ceilings are typically level and straight. When ceiling damage is close at hand, ceilings can buckle, bow, and sag under pressure.
- Paint Starts to Chip and Peel
The paint will stay on ceilings for many years. If you notice peeling paint, paint flakes on your floor or cracking paint, it could be caused by hidden ceiling damage.
- Your Ceiling Has Signs of Staining or Patches
If you notice different discoloration on your ceilings, this could be due to a number of different issues. If you notice ceiling spots, it’s time to consider that there may be a problem.
Ways to Prevent Water Damage
- Inspect Your Roof
While catching water in the living room might help save the floor, it is far better to catch it before it damages the ceiling in the first place. This will require a trip to the attic. Once in the attic, use a bright light to help spot the entry point of the water. Your roof is constantly exposed to sunlight and precipitation. If it begins to deteriorate, roof leaks can develop without you noticing. But you can stay ahead of water damage by inspecting your roof regularly — especially after big storms. Use a pair of binoculars to look for any missing or broken shingles, cracked flashing or large debris on the roof.
- Regular maintenance
You should clean the cobwebs and dust from your ventilation and exhaust systems at least once a year. Caulking around pipes and vents is always a good idea, as the exposed metal will rust and deteriorate, so make sure those points get painted to protect them. Remove leaves, dirt, and debris from your gutters to avoid water damage from backed-up rainfall or melting snow and ice.
- Quick Repairs
Don’t hesitate to call a professional immediately if you see curled or buckled shingles during your maintenance inspections. If shingles are missing, that’s something that will need to be repaired before storms hit. Putting these types of repairs off can be expensive in the long run. So, schedule repairs right away.
- Attic Inspection
Your attics and crawl-spaces can tell you a lot. If there is any developing issue with your roofing, one of the first places you will see water damage will be here. Look for discolorations and warping or buckling in the materials used, and if you see any signs of mold beginning or detect any musty odors, you will know that you may have some repairs that need to be done right away. Water stains in the attics might also be a sign that it’s time for a new roof.
- Check Your Utility Bills
As a home or business owner, you are always keeping an eye on your costs, and if you notice that your utility bills seem to be creeping up, it might not be higher prices. It could be that you are losing heat or cool air through a roof that needs attention. Enlist the help of a professional to see if that might be the case and to perform any necessary repairs.
- Clean Your Gutters
You should clean your gutters at least twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. You should also throw in an extra cleaning after a big storm to remove wet leaves, branches, and other debris that could be clogging up your gutters and downspouts. Ensuring good drainage is essential to protecting your home from water damage. Poor drainage weakens your foundation, leading to cracks, uneven settling, and pathways for water to find its way inside.
- Test Your Sump Pump
A sump pump is your first line of defense against basement flooding. They’re used to pump water that has accumulated into a sump basin away from a home to a municipal storm drain or dry well.
How to Test a Sump Pump
- Locate the exit pipe on the outside of your home where the sump pump directs water out of the basement.
- Inspect the pipe for damage and remove any clogs if necessary.
- Locate the sump pump in your basement and check that the electrical cord is still plugged into a functioning outlet.
- Remove the lid to the sump pump, if it has one, and clean out any debris.
- Pour approximately 5 gallons of water into the basin of your sump pump. Pour slowly until the pump turns on and begins to pump out water.
What Do the Best Water Damage Restoration Service Offer?
Quick action is important after a flood. Finding water damage restoration services is easy - if you know exactly what you are looking for. So, when you do have water damage, now is the time to find the best water damage restoration service company as fast as you can.
There are numerous explanations as to what may result in water damages such as cracks, leaking roofs, plumbing problems or wall moisture. These kinds of problems need immediate professional help; that is why you need to keep the number of the best water damage restoration services close at hand for when you need it in such emergencies. As well as water damage removal, your restoration company should also be able to restore any, or at least most, of your damaged belongings. Whether it’s drying out old books, washing rugs and furniture or cleaning delicate jewelry and other valuables, an experienced company knows what steps to take to get your belongings as close to their original condition as possible.
The best restoration companies can also help you replace sections of your home that are too damaged repair. Instead of hiring a different company to renovate your home, your restoration company should be able to handle the replacement of most damaged walls, floors, stairs, and the like. Everyone has suffered water damage and related problems at some stage. So, when you ask your friends and neighbors about recommendations, they will certainly have some companies on their recommendation list.
SERVPRO of Santa Rosa S.E. / Sonoma for Your Water Damage Solution
The past few decades have seen a rapid advancement in the technology and techniques used in the restoration industry. These advancements allow the professionals at SERVPRO of Santa Rosa S.E. / Sonoma to restore a property back to its preloss condition - quickly, reliably, and more effectively.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets practical standards for restoration and cleaning. The IICRC S500 Water Damage Guide is a specific set of practical standards that incorporate the field of psychometry, which involves the manipulation of temperature and relative humidity to remove moisture and dry a property quickly and effectively.
We, at SERVPRO, take care of water damage by making use of the following equipment and methods:
- Moisture Detection and Measurement Equipment
Scientific drying principles rely upon specialized equipment to detect, measure and monitor a property's moisture levels. Recent advances, like infrared cameras, can help us detect water through a wall, ceiling, or floor.
- An infrared camera may be used to identify the water location for thorough water removal.
- Sensitive moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation.
- Water Extraction Equipment
- Powerful extraction equipment speeds the drying process by removing the bulk of the water from your home or business.
- Submersible and gas-powered pumps for continuous pumping of high-level water.
- Truck-mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal.
- Drying Equipment
- Industrial strength air movers and dehumidifiers are needed to remove the remaining moisture from the ceiling, walls, and floors of your home or business. Proper drying helps to prevent swelling and warping of floors, walls, and furniture.
- High-speed air movers cause moisture to evaporate at a faster pace.
- Industrial grade dehumidifiers pull the water vapor from the air.
- Odor Removal and Deodorization
- Water and fire damage often cause powerful odors. The machines we use remove airborne contaminants and control the air quality during the restoration and cleanup process.
- Air Scrubbers
- Thermal foggers and deodorization agents.
- Sanitizing Agents, Germicides, and Antimicrobial Treatments
- The use of OSHA-approved cleaning agents may be needed to clean and remove odors and/or contaminants on your property.
- Deodorization products control odors from excessive moisture.
- Disinfection products stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.