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Follow these tips to prevent serious water damage in your home

There are few home disasters worse than water damage from a pipe or roof leak. Here’s how you can prevent serious water leaks in your home, or deal with an already-in-progress leak.

Have a leak? Call a plumber right away.

Let’s start here: if you’re currently dealing with a leak, you need to bring in a licensed and experienced plumber. If you don’t have a professional already on speed-dial, search for one online by typing in “plumber” and the name of your city. For example, if you live in Western New York, you’ll want to type in plumber in Buffalo, NY. Be sure to look at online reviews before you place your call, but don’t wait too long—you’ll want to get an expert out to look at your pipe leak as soon as possible!

Preventing roof leaks

Most leaks originate from either the roof or a burst pipe. Let’s first talk about roof leaks. Most roof leaks develop gradually and can be traced back to roofing issues that became apparent months or even years before. A few missing, torn-off shingles leads to an exposed underlayment that is slowly deteriorated by frost and sun until, finally, moisture reaches the roof structure itself. Clogged gutters and downspouts can accelerate a roof leak by causing rainwater and snowmelt to pool on the roof.

In the fall, take the time to give your roof a solid once-over. Clean out your gutters to remove leaf buildup, and be sure to call in a roofer if you notice anything’s amiss. Some minor roof repairs today can save you a lot of time, money, and headache in the future.

Keep your home’s pipes from freezing

Does your home experience below-freezing nights in the winter? If so, you face the potential threat of frozen pipes. This most often occurs when a home’s furnace stops working, causing indoor temperatures to rapidly drop. When the pipes get cold enough, the water in them freezes solid. There’s a real risk that the pipe could then “pop” open, flooding your home.

So, how can you prevent this from happening? A good start is taking proper care of your home’s furnace: call your local HVAC pros to schedule a heating checkup in the fall. This preventative maintenance can help prevent a heating breakdown, which—in turn—protects your pipes. You should also talk to your local plumber about having protective insulation installed around any pipes that run through exterior walls. This can slow down their heat loss and buy your pipes precious hours if your heater goes out.

Be a proactive homeowner

At the first sign of trouble, call in a plumber. It’s better to spend money on a diagnostic visit than it is to have a burst pipe or slab leak destroy your floors and cause thousands in water damage. Proactive homeowners are always better off in the long run.

To learn more about residential water leaks and what homeowners can do to avoid them, take a look at this helpful infographic:

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