There are many layers to making your home safe for your family. From installing a security system and reinforcing your doors in order to ensure no intruders can come in and harm you to childproofing your home before you bring in the little ones all the way to making sure the installations are done properly, you have to think about many aspects of home safety.
However, regardless of how much time and effort you put into hiring the right professionals that will do a good job when it comes to handling your electrical wiring, plumbing, and gas installation, there could still be issues that can affect the health and safety of your family, compromise your home’s structural integrity, and cost you a lot of money. While we often think of faulty electrical work and fires as one of the biggest dangers, water and gas leaks can wreak havoc as well.
Here are some things you need to take care of in order to prevent leaks in your home and make sure it is safe.
Inspect your roof regularly
When it comes to water damage, one big reason why you might be faced with issues of this sort is a leaky roof. The first step toward ensuring no water compromises the integrity of your property is regularly inspecting the roof. One way to do this is to take a pair of binoculars and look at the roof from the ground. Then, you can also climb up on the roof and inspect it more closely. Of course, remember to be safe when going up. On the other hand, it might be best to get a professional to check out the roof and make sure everything is in place. If you neglect this easy chore, your home’s attic insulation could lose effectiveness and cause mold to develop, which can result in health and aesthetic concerns.
Fix any damage you notice
In case you or the expert notice any damage, it should be taken care of as soon as possible. If there are any missing shingles, you need to replace them in order to prevent structural deterioration of the roof as the wooden components of your roof can rot if exposed to rain for a prolonged period of time. It can also sag and collapse, in addition to being easy prey for pests like termites. While up there, you should also look into the roof structure to make sure you are not simply putting a new shingle on a much bigger problem.
Replace your roof
If you notice issues with the structure, you might have to invest in a new roof. When purchasing a property, it’s important to take a good look at the roof and ask the previous owners when it was last repaired or replaced. Seeing as how a roof can last anywhere from a few decades to over a hundred years, recent work could mean that you are safe for a long time. However, you might also have to change the entire roof to prevent some more serious damage and repairs down the line. In that case, make sure to hire experienced roofing professionals from your area to handle everything.
Clean your gutters
In terms of rain damage, the roof is not the only part of your home you have to pay attention to. Gutters can also cause a lot of problems if they are clogged. For instance, if you don’t clean the gutters regularly, they will not be able to handle heavy rains and carry water away from your home. That can lead to foundation problems that can be very expensive, a wet basement, damage to walls and ceilings, as well as insect infestations. If they are clogged for too long, they can get damaged or completely break off, meaning that you will have to replace them altogether.
Check for broken seals
On the other hand, water damage is not caused only by excessive rain but by improperly installed or damaged plumbing as well. There are many reasons why you might be experiencing leaks and many of them are not immediately visible. Therefore, you should first check out the things that you don’t need a professional’s help with. For example, you can see on your own whether seals around water connectors and on various appliances are broken. When the appliances in your home were installed, contractors put seals in place. However, these can wear out and break over time. So, if you’ve noticed condensation or puddles near the appliances, you should check whether the seal is broken and have it fixed.
Mend damaged pipe joints
Another issue that should be taken care of before it turns into a much bigger problem is damaged pipe joints. Seeing as how the points where pipes are connected are the weakest, leaks can occur due to deterioration over time. If you start hearing ticking or banging noises, the pipe joints are probably under a lot of pressure. In order to prevent a burst pipe, you need to act quickly and contact an experienced Canberra plumber that will mend the joints in no time. What is more, you can also have your plumbing system evaluated on a yearly basis to ensure everything is working properly and that there is no corrosion which can slowly eat away at the pipes.
Measure the water pressure
Something else you should pay attention to in order to prevent leaks is the water pressure in your home. While we all enjoy high water pressure, it’s important to know that uneven or excessive pressure often leads to a leak. Make sure your plumbing can withstand the water pressure you expect of it by consulting with a professional.
Take care of intruding tree roots
Not all leaks start inside your home. In some cases, trees outside of your property can lead to a leak that will result in you getting extremely high water bills and sinkholes in your yard. The water lines can be damaged by intruding roots, thus causing water to start leaking onto the lawn and create wet patches that can lead to serious problems. So, if you notice puddles of water or a sudden drop in the water pressure, you should call a plumber to check whether you are dealing with an intrusion.
Install carbon monoxide detectors
Finally, gas leaks are also a hazard you need to avoid. For starters, make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed on every floor of your home and that they are working properly. These will emit a loud sound if CO is detected, which will help you react on time. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, you should never use your gas range as a heater or run the car in the garage. Furthermore, you should ensure your home is adequately ventilated.
Have your home regularly inspected
If you make the choice to use gas in your home for cooking and heating, you also have to ensure your home is up to code and safe to be used. Call a certified inspector that will check out the gas pipelines and gas-burning appliances and make sure everything is working properly. In most cases, this service is free. Moreover, you should have the vents, chimneys, and furnaces inspected as well.
Make sure everyone is educated about gas safety
Finally, in order to prevent gas leaks, you need to make sure everyone in your household is educated when it comes to gas safety. First of all, everyone should know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of gas leaks. For example, smelling sulfur or rotten eggs, hearing a whistling or hissing sound near a gas line, seeing a cloud near a gas line, noticing bubbles in water, or houseplants dying are all signs that something might be wrong. Then, dizziness, headaches, fatigue and drowsiness, lightheadedness, breathing difficulties, nosebleeds, ringing in the ears, pains in the chest, and more are all gas leak symptoms that household members should pay attention to and react immediately. In the event of a leak, it’s vital to evacuate everyone, leave the doors and windows open, and call the emergency number for your gas provider or 911. Remember to not use the phone while inside the house as it might ignite the gas.
Seeing as how staying safe in your own home is most certainly your priority, there are measures you need to take in order for that to be possible. These eleven steps should help you prevent leaks and protect your family.