flood damage

Know Where Your Shut Off Valves are Located & How to Operate Them

Know Where Your Shut Off Valves are Located & How to Operate Them

It is important as a homeowner to know where your all the shut off valves for your home are located and how to operate them.

Water:

For your water supply lines it is important to locate your main shut off valve.  Simply turn your shut off valve till it is perpendicular to the pipe. This will stop the flow of water to the entire house. You should be familiar with the individual shut off valves in your home as well. They are known as isolating valves and they are at your washing machine, sinks and toilets. You will want to know how to shut off these valves in case of a leak or if water starts shooting out of a pipe. The sooner you stop the water the less damage may occur. Exterior faucets may also have isolating valves but because of their exterior nature these valves may not be located by the valve itself. Instead they can be located near an interior sink or by the main shut off valve.

Gas:

You should also know the location of your gas shut off valve. However if you notice a gas leak you should leave your house immediately and call your utility company. In many homes the shut off valve for your gas is located at the meter. A wrench is needed to turn the gas off and on. Some homes have a second gas shut off valve that is similar to water shut off valve. Isolated gas shut off valves have a lever that rotates ninety degrees. When the lever is in line with the pipe the gas is flowing. When it is perpendicular to the pipe the gas is shut off.  There may also be smaller levers that will feed to individual appliances in your home.

Appliances:

Some of your appliances may also have shut off valves at the units themselves. If you shut off the gas supply on appliances keep in mind that the pilot light will go out. This includes furnaces, gas fireplaces and hot water heaters. Once you turn the gas back on you will need to relight the pilot light on each appliance.

Upstairs Laundry Room – Tips to Avoid Flooding

Upstairs laundry roomAn upstairs laundry room can create a lot of water damage if there is ever a problem with flooding.

Four Tips to Protect Your Home from Damage

Follow these four simple steps and you can help prevent flood damage to an upstairs laundry room in the event of a washing machine malfunction.

  1. Install a Washing Machine Outlet Box:  These washing machine outlet boxes provide quick, safe, water supply shut-off access.  Complete with knockouts for waste or water lines, the box provides a recessed space for your supply valves.  These boxes are designed to install in panel, drywall or plastered surfaces, and provide a finished look to your installations.  These are available at most local home supply/hardware stores.
  2. Install a Washer Pan or Tray:  This is a pan with a purpose.   A washer pan or tray is typically a rectangular piece of plastic that is placed beneath the washing machine so that it can catch water from any spills or leaks.   Pans are often equipped with a hose that can be connected to the drain pipe so that the water is easy to remove.   Washer pans are made of plastic and not metal to resist rust and other forms of damage.  While these trays are also thin, homeowners can be assured that the quality of the material is unbreakable and does not easily crack even under the weight of the washer.
  3. Check Water Supply Hoses:   Check older hoses for cracks and replace when necessary.  A burst hose can spell big, costly trouble.  If you’re buying new hoses, consider purchasing “no-burst” hoses.  These type of rubber hoses are sheathed with braided stainless steel.  Replacing the hoses can save you a lot of time, money and frustration.
  4. Turn off the Water to Supply Hoses:   For additional peace of mind, turn off the water supply to the washing machine.  This is easy to do with a single-lever shut off valve.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact Choice Home Inspections Services at 770-490-6911, or click here to contact us by email.

Preventing Home Flood Damage

FloodingFlooding is one of the most disastrous and unfortunate common phenomena that affects people today.  There are many regions and countries in the world that are prone to floods, due to their climate or their geographical characteristics.  Floods can be quite hazardous and cause serious damage.  If you are living in an area like this, you should be well prepared in order to avoid serious situations. Preventing flood damage in homes is not difficult if owners take all necessary measures.

Your house should be elevated and reinforced in order to avoid possible flooding.  You should also take care of particular elements, such as the electric panel and heaters, water pumps and any administration panel related to water and heat supply. You should also take some measures to prevent blockage of drains, install sewer taps and make sure that they are connected to valves that control water if needed.  Sewers and drains are the prime source of flooding and can allow water to enter houses if not closed when necessary.

If you have a basement, sealing the walls with waterproof elements and compounds, you will not only prevent water from coming in, but you will also make sure the walls do not absorb moisture.

If you are warned about a coming flood, you should prepare both you and your house for a possible disastrous situation.

Tips to Ensure The Least Amount of Flood Damage

  • Turn off all utilities, such as water and power supply, gas or anything else of that kind.
  • Make sure that you turn off their main source and disconnect all the appliances from plugs.
  • If your washing machine or dryer are in the basement, try to build a small deck and elevate them as much as possible.
  • Cover cords and cables with waterproofing materials to avoid serious electrical problems.
  • Keep in mind that appliances are not be turned on right away after the flood is over. If you cannot have an electrician check them before use, try to make sure that everything is as dry as possible, and open them gradually, one by one.

Be prepared and prevent home flood damage with these simple tips, especially if you live in a flood prone area even if flooding is not expected or is controllable.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact Choice Home Inspections Services at 770-490-6911, or click here to contact us by email.