As a homeowner, you pride yourself on keeping your house in good condition. You clean your floors, organise your garage and maintain your yard. Whether you just moved in or have lived in the same place for years, you do all you can to keep up appearances and prevent irritating problems.

But what if you live in an area with heavy rainfall or high humidity? Homes in these locations-or houses that experience plumbing problems-may suffer from indoor flooding and the associated water damage.

Along with house fires and termite infestations, water damage asserts itself high up on a list of homeowners’ nightmares. This kind of damage causes a host of frustrating-and downright unhealthy-problems, including:

  • Warped skirting boards
  • Discolouration
  • Mould & mildew
  • Rusted metals

The following tips can help you avoid water damage from some of the more common causes.

1.Check for Appliance Leaks

One of the easiest ways for water to invade your home is through leaky plumbing fixtures, including toilets, sinks, showers and baths. Checking these areas of your house on a regular basis for leaks or cracks can prevent flooding from ever happening.

As well as plumbing fixtures, remember some appliances can contribute to leakage. Don’t forget to check on your refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine for any signs of unwanted drips. If you find regularly checking these items too tedious, consider changing washes and hoses every few years. If you don’t check them and don’t replace them, it is only a matter of time until washes fail and hoses crack.

2. Inspect Gutters and Downpipes

You may easily overlook the important role your gutters and downpipes play to keep rainwater and other debris out of your home. Clean pipes allow for consistent water flow and smooth irrigation. When dirt, leaves and other materials clog your gutters and downpipes, excess water may seep into your roof or exterior walls.

Regular cleaning of your gutters is recommended and checking your roof tiles for cracks or chips periodically is also a good idea especially if you have had a tradesperson up there.

3. Get the Air Flowing

To circumvent too much humidity or condensation inside your home, let in more air. Open windows in different rooms to combat stagnant or damp air. You’ll feel less sticky and, perhaps more importantly, you’ll defend your house from potential water damage. Depending on your budget, you can also use a humidity metre or a dehumidifier to create the right amount of moisture in your bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways and other areas in your house.

4. Watch What You Pour Down Your Sink

Remember that garbage cans and sinks (including garbage disposals underneath your sink) have two separate functions. Your sink’s pipes cannot handle solid materials or even thick liquids. When you cook or wash dishes, remember to avoid washing food items, plastics, chemicals and grease down your sink.

Such materials can accumulate inside pipes and create clogs and backups. Use your garbage bin instead as the receptacle for waste items that may ruin your plumbing.

5. Pay Attention to Your Water Bill

If you pay your water bill on time, do you also carefully read it? Your bill may shed light on unexpected or unknown water leaks in your home. If you notice uncharacteristically high prices, you may have a leaky pipe somewhere within your walls or ceiling.

The best way to resolve unseen, problematic plumbing is to contact a plumbing company or a general home contractor. Professionals will identify the trouble, fix it and give you advice on how to prevent further leaks.