How to safeguard your home from common issues.
No one can stop a tornado or a tree from falling on your home, but there are many ways to avoid common problems that catch people unawares. Here are a few typical issues and easy ways to prevent them.
Water in the home
Active water leaks from a home’s plumbing supply system are the culprit of many floods. New startups have developed products, including FloodStop, that shut the water off in a home when the sensors contact water. The device is an electronically controlled shutoff valve that receives the signal to close when the control board detects water at a detector. This protection is especially beneficial if a home is left unattended for any length of time. Flood cleanup people will attest to how many homes have been nearly destroyed by unchecked leaks.
Proper backup sump pump systems. There are several ways to back up the pumps in your home against failure. Power loss and pump failure are two main issues. Battery backups protect against power loss, and secondary pumps protect against pump failure. We provide solutions that address both. This safeguard becomes more critical if the pump is protecting a finished basement.
Pan under the water heater draining to the nearest floor drain. Water heaters often leak through their shell once they are past their warranty period. If a water heater is on a concrete floor next to a drain, the risk for flooding is slight. If it is not near a drain but a finished space, consider installing a pan and a drain pipe to direct water from a failing water heater to a drain instead of a finished floor.
Change sump pumps every three years. Manufacturers design sump pumps to last three years. If a sump pump protects a finished basement or anything valuable, consider replacing them before its warranty expiration.
Check flashing on the roof. Flashing around chimneys, valleys, and skylights can fail over time. Have a roofer examine your roof every couple of years, especially if it is old.
Check/ clear drains on attic HVAC systems and install leak stop controls on HVAC systems. If an HVAC system is in an attic, the water produced by the system often ends up on the ceiling beneath it. Over time, drains that carry the water to the building’s main drain will become clogged, especially if a humidifier drains into it. Draining humidifiers leave a substrate that clogs small drains over time. Installing water detection switches will disable the equipment until you can repair the leak or clear the drain.
Clean Gutters. Don’t forget this critical maintenance item. Gutters keep water away from your foundation. Keep them clean. If keeping gutters clean is a problem, consider gutter guards. Water at a foundation can create more significant problems if left unaddressed.
Install freeze-proof exterior spigots. Ensure freezing temperatures do not cause burst pipes in your home at the most vulnerable place where the home’s plumbing is outside. You can also shut off the water to your spigots before the winter if you can do so.
Seal cracks and foundation walls. Seal cracks in foundation walls with polyurethane to keep water seepage and radon out of your basement.
Make your home electrically sound
It is easy to mitigate electrical hazards in a home. Modern building standards have incorporated safety that makes electrical incidents very rare. Many electrical hazards will exist in older homes or shotty remodeling or repair work.
Old appliances and wiring are an unfortunate cause of many fires. Cheap appliances with cheap electrical components or old appliances with old and brittle wiring are susceptible to arcing and melting.
Extension cords and improperly run electricity can cause fires. An extension cord’s purpose is for a temporary electrical connection. Extension cords can also be undersized, allowing for the melting of wires. Hire an electrician to place outlets instead of extension cords.
Lamps and light fixtures can be problem spots. Placing a light bulb with a higher wattage than the rating of the light fixture can cause overheating and placing any fabric near or on a light fixture. Thankfully modern LED lighting makes both of those issues less of a problem. LEDs run much cooler and consume less power, producing less heat than regular incandescent bulbs.
GFCI outlets protect against electrocution. Water, concrete, and bare earth are excellent conductors of electricity.. GFCI devices monitor the current flowing through them. They will trip when an errant current is detected, reducing the risk of electrocution. Code requires GFCI outlets near water, in the garage, or in the basement of a home
Arcing outlets have caused fires. New arc fault interruption technology allows for the tripping of a breaker when arcing is sensed. Code requires these breakers in living rooms and bedrooms in all new homes.
Grounding in a home directs all shorting electrical currents to the ground. The main electrical panel and the meter socket outside the home bond to “ground” via ground rods and clamps at the entrance of the water service, jumping the water meter. The home’s protection against electrical faults is compromised if these components are missing.
Overheated breakers indicate overloaded circuits. Infrared cameras show overheating breakers instantly. IR cameras will also identify overloaded neutral wires, another overlooked issue within a home’s breaker panel.
Call OneStop Pro today to have us check all the items mentioned above in our Home Sweet Home Wellness Check.