How to Avoid Water Damage in Your Rental Property

When there’s a leak in your house, the size of damage can be massive. This also ends up being costly for you. In fact, statistics reveal that up to $13 billion is spent every year in the country on the cost of water damage and removal.

As a landlord, your main goal is to prevent your property from experiencing water damage. You want to keep your rental income intact rather than pay for the water damage expenses. Most of the issues stem from plumbing and are associated with weather and some can even be safety hazards.

What are the Possible Causes of Water Damage?

If you suspect leaks in your home, it’s imperative to find where the leak is coming from. It’s also crucial to discover it quickly, so make it a part of all your routine inspections. Hidden water leaks can be stressful since water damage is costly. You’ll need to get in touch with a plumber who can evaluate the cause of the issue and fix it.

Water damage is commonly caused by:

  • Plumbing fixtures that aren’t in working order such as a broken toilet
  • Appliances that are malfunctioning like a blown-up water heater
  • Old supply hoses of washing machines that haven’t been replaced for a long time; their life expectancy is normally pegged between 8-9 years and water can escape inside your unit
  • Clogging of the gutter
  • Build-up of water
  • Burst or blocked pipes
  • Freezing weather
  • Corrosion of the pipes
corroded pipes
  • Tree roots attacking the pipes
  • Sewage backups
  • Harsh chemicals
  • Pressure occurring from garbage disposal blockage
  • Improper insulation of the pipe
  • Homes containing PEX & CPVC materials can be susceptible

What are the Signs of Water  Damage?

  • Spotting mold or mildew in kitchens and bathrooms even after a cleaning session
  • Stains found on ceilings could indicate water leaks on walls and floors
  • Walls that contain cracks and paint blisters or bubbles
  • Finding water pools on the floor or cupped wood floors
  • Wooden materials of the home have dry rot
  • Water bills increasing suddenly

How to Prevent Water Damage?

As a landlord, you have several preventative options to protect your property from water damage. Here are ways you can mitigate its risk to your unit:

Inspect Your Gutters

It’s important to tidy up your rain gutters annually. Get rid of debris and position your gutters at a downward angle. This ensures that water will flow out from your rental home as opposed to creating water pools and being absorbed by the property’s foundations.

Evaluate the Downspouts

Gutter downspouts should be extended far from your unit. This makes for an effective draining system. Instead of water pools gathering around the property, the water is transported away from the unit making flooding less likely to occur.

inspect the downspouts

Downspouts should also be inspected for damage so you can replace or fix them if it’s not working properly.

Grade the Yard

When heavy rain is pouring, water can rise on the level ground. It’s essential then to look at the grading on the property. You want to mitigate this risk and design a sloping yard to ensure that water quickly drains out protecting your rental home.

Look at the Exterior Drains

Drains located near the doors and the exterior of your property should be inspected. Debris must be removed for effective draining.

Inspect Your Building’s Roof

Sometimes, roofs can be overlooked as a source of water damage. It’s only when stains are visible on the ceiling that you recognize the issue. It’s important to have a roof inspection each year to fix any damage or replace missing areas of the roof where water can easily find its way and caused problems.

Properly Seal Your Windows

If you spot cracks on your windows, have them repaired right away. Check the state of the sump pump and whether it’s in a good condition. Its function is to remove the accumulation of water in your basement. If a sump pump is damaged, the dampness in your basement may continue.

Inspect the Walls for Cracks

Cracks appearing on the walls inside and outside your property can create an opening for water to seep into the foundation of your home. This leads to damage to the structure of your unit.

Look at the Perimeter Walls and Drains

If you spot water pooling on the walls outside, it’s time to contact a foundation professional to ensure that your structure is not compromised in any way.

gutter inspections

If damage is revealed, it can be resolved, and the wall cracks can be sealed.

Correctly Dispose of Cooking Fats

Pouring cooking oil down the pipe can lead to clogging since they solidify. Avoid getting rid of oils, fats, and grease down your drainage system. Place them in a separate container and get rid of them in the trash bin when the liquid hardens.

Free the Floor Drains from Blockage

Water can pool when the floor drains contain dust, hair, and dirt. Save on water damage costs by taking time to remove this buildup at least once a week. You want to avoid the bathroom area from leaking water to the floors in other parts of your home.

Disconnect Hoses

Before the winter season arrives, it’s important to disconnect hoses from the faucet. You want to avoid the incident where still water stuck in the hose can freeze and cause a blockage. This can obstruct the water flow and build up pressure leading to burst pipes and damage to the floor, walls, and foundation.

Maintain Trees and Vegetation

Plants can make your rental home’s curb appeal attractive. However, the roots can be damaging when they attack the pipes by wrapping around them. Before landscaping, it’s best to consider the position of your plants so they won’t affect the utility pipes. You can also relocate some of your shrubs when they grow too much.

Learn Where Your Water Main is Located

As a landlord, being aware of where the water main is found is critical. When a plumbing emergency happens, you can quickly switch it off to reduce the water damage.

Bottom Line

These are some helpful tips to prevent water damage on your property. If you need more help with anything related to your rental property’s care and management, get in touch with the team at Alltrade Property Management! Our years of experience in the real estate industry let us help your rental become a success.