Here are four common in-home disasters and some tips on avoiding them.
Plumbing problems are some of the most frustrating home emergencies because there is not always an immediately obvious cause. Septic tank problems can cause your plumbing to work improperly, or even back sewage into your home, creating unsanitary damage and inconvenience.
You can avoid these problems by taking care of your septic system. Be conscientious of what you flush down the toilet or let drain out of your sink. Heavy chemicals and solid objects can damage or block your septic system.
These early warning signs can let you know that you should have your septic tank inspected:
- Overflow through toilets or washing machine hookups.
- Waste smells coming from drains or in your yard.
- Sinkholes begin to appear in your yard.
- When you drain a sink, it backs up in the tub or shower.
Watch for the signs of a damaged septic tank and carefully maintain your septic system to avoid these problems.
Whether it’s a flooded laundry room, a rainstorm that washes the front yard into the house, or a slow leak in a wall, water damage is a major hassle that can result in costly damages, loss of irreplaceable pictures and documents, and lengthy cleanup.
While you can’t prevent storms (or even washing machine overflow), you may be able to prevent future water damage by waterproofing your home. If you cannot afford to waterproof your whole home, or it’s not necessary, you may still want to consider waterproofing your basement and foundation to prevent flooding. It is also a good idea to store valuables and perishables that could be damaged by water on high shelves or in waterproofed containers.
From scratches on hardwood, to a crack in a tile floor, damage to your flooring is a frustrating home concern. While some flooring damage is merely unsightly (like a stain on the living room carpet), others can pose a safety concern (such as loose floorboards or broken tiles). These impairments can be difficult to remedy, particularly with tile and hardwood flooring where a large section of the floor may need to be removed or replaced.
The best way to protect your floors is to follow the recommended guidelines for floor care. Wood flooring may need to be resealed every few years to ensure that they stay in optimal condition. Many types of flooring have specific cleaning and upkeep instructions that can keep your floors at their best. It is also a good idea to confine food to uncarpeted areas and to supervise or restrict activities that can scratch and crack flooring (such as indoor sports and carrying heavy objects).
Perhaps no other home damage is more unattractive than holes in the wall, whether it was caused by a thrown toy, or a picture falling down. Even after a hole has been patched, it can often still show through the paint. If you already have holes in need of repair, consider bringing a contractor in to repair the wall.
Prevent this damage by having your walls inspected, and repaired if necessary. Hang all artwork properly. Use earthquake hooks if you are in an area at risk for quakes.
No one looks forward to the next home disaster, but by doing what you can to prepare, you can limit the damage and difficulty the next one hits.