Water damage to your home can lead to big expenses – and big headaches. Here's some quick advice to help reduce the chances of running into problems.

Ten Ways to Prevent Water Damage to Your Home


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  1. Roof
    • – Replace damaged shingles or complete roof to protect against damage due to aging and extreme weather corrosion
    • – Ensure proper ventilation
    • – Safely clear off snow/ice
  2. Eavestrough
    • – Keep it clear of debris to prevent overflow
    • – Install downspout extensions to prevent leaks into the basement
  3. Windows and Doors
    • – Properly seal or replace old windows and doors
    • – Install wells for basement windows
  4. Toilets, Tubs, Sinks
    • – Ensure drains are clear from debris
    • – Know where the shut-off valve is or install one
  5. Pipes
    • – Check shut-off valves every six months to ensure they work and know the location of your main shut-off valve
    • – Check plumbing for corrosion or buckling and replace if necessary
    • – Avoid pouring fats, oil and grease down drains
  6. Appliances
    • – Check hoses for wear/tear and replace if necessary
    • – Replace older appliances
  7. Walls and Foundation
    • – Seal any cracks to prevent leaks
    • – Ensure proper grading for water to drain away from home
    • – Keep snow away from foundation walls and basement windows
  8. Basement
    • – Ensure basement floor drains are clear from debris and stored valuables are off the floor
    • – Install back-flow valve or backup generator for sump pumps
  9. Water Tank
    • – Keep it maintained and check for corrosion to prevent leakage or bursting
    • – Replace it every 10-15 years
  10. Outside
    • – Keep outdoor sewer grates clear to prevent backup
    • – Install a rain barrel to collect water

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.