Five Factors That Increase Your Risk of Water Damage Water damage rarely strikes out of nowhere. While you can’t control a massive flood, you can control how prepared you are, and therefore, how much damage that flood can do to you. There are five main factors that increase your water damage risk. Combat them, and you can help avoid water damage. 1. Avoiding checkups and maintenance Every year you go without annual checkups, you increase your risk of water damage. Checking your roof, pipes, and appliances on a yearly basis increases the odds that you’ll be able to nip water damage in the bud. Small defects in a roof or appliance can grow slowly over time. A drip can turn into a flood. Catching problems with a checkup enables you to avoid a water damage disaster. 2. Old appliances Old appliances can keep going for years as long as they get maintenance. Once they’re no longer new (specifically, once they’re out of warranty) they start posing a greater risk of water damage. The seals on old appliances often fail. In addition, hoses flake and crack, spilling water on the floor. You can try to mitigate the water damage risk of older appliances by regularly checking them over, but eventually appliances should be replaced. 3. Unwrapped pipes Winter holds more risk of water damage than any other season. Freezing weather poses a distinct risk to buildings. Unwrapped pipes can burst when the weather dips below the freezing point. Water expands as it freezes, and this force is stronger than pipes. There are several DIY solutions that reduce the water damage risk of pipes. For example, wrap your pipes in insulation or apply spray-foam insulation to them. Indoor pipes can even be heated with electrical tape. Leaving pipes exposed is a gamble that increases your water damage risk. 4. No storm kit You can’t control the weather, but you can control how prepared you are for a disaster. To reduce your risk of water damage, prepare a storm kit in advance. You should have towels, tarps, and duct tape. If you discover a leak or a damp spot spring into action. For example, taping a tarp over a leak in the roof can protect your walls and floors from moisture. Additionally, towels can dry an area and help prevent stagnant water. If you don’t have these supplies ready in your home, it will be too late when the storm strikes. Preparing in advance cuts your water damage risk. 5. Stagnant air Not every building has great ventilation. Stagnant air keeps moisture in the air. Moisture seeps into porous surfaces like fabrics, plaster, and drywall. Letting stagnant air sit in your rooms, increases the risk of water damage, as mold and mildew flourish. If opening windows and letting fresh air in is not an option, run a dehumidifier in the room. A few minutes a day during dry weather, and a few hours during damp weather, should be enough to reduce your risk of water damage. Water damage risk depends on many factors. Protect your home by tackling these five factors, and you dramatically cut the risk of water damage to your property. Prevention is key to protection!