Last week, we explained that water damage is one of the biggest fears of any homeowner. Not only can it cost a great deal of money between damage to the home itself and items such as furniture and appliances, fixing the problem can be incredibly inconvenient. Depending on the severity, you could be looking at weeks or months of repair.

To help you avoid these issues, we provided five simple tips to prevent water damage in your home. Now, as promised, we’re back with the second half of our list, which any homeowner should be able to put to good use:

Pay Close Attention to Your Water Bill

Believe it or not, but a homeowner’s utility bill is often the first indicator that water leaks have become a problem. That’s because most of us pay close attention to how much money each utility is costing us each month. Your utility bill will break down water usage per day, which could further help you pinpoint the problem. So, if you don’t think your actual water usage has increased from one month to the next, but the bill shows that it has, it’s time to start searching your home for leaks.

Be Mindful of Plants

Who doesn’t love a gorgeous landscape in front of our homes? Planting new vegetation isn’t typically an issue, but the roots of certain plants have a tendency to wrap around pipes and actually break them. You can avoid this by limiting your landscape changes to areas that aren’t near utility pipes. For trees and shrubs that have already become too big and could threaten your pipes, you may want to consider removing them, just to be on the safe side.

Watch What You Pour Down Your Drain

In our previous post, we discussed the importance of not using drain cleaners because the chemicals they contain can cause damage to your pipes over time. We also believe it’s important to note avoidance of other liquids that could damage your pipes. We’re speaking primarily of grease and oil, both of which can congeal in your pipes and cause massive damage. You can avoid this by pouring used grease or oil into a plastic baggie and throwing it in the trash. Oh… and that kitty litter you dump down the toilet? Unless it says “flushable”, don’t do it.

Monitor Appliances on a Regular Basis

Appliances that utilize water during operation — such as dishwashers and washing machines — can cause an incredible amount of damage if a leak occurs. These appliances should be monitored closely to help avoid possible water leaks and subsequent damage to the surrounding area. The hoses on a washing machine are especially vulnerable, as they’ll weaken over time. If you notice them becoming brittle, it’s time for replacement.

Check Your Home’s Water Pressure

You’d be surprised at how many homes have a water pressure level that exceeds what they actually need. This higher water pressure can put unnecessary strain on pipes, which can cause them to — you guessed it — BURST! All it takes to fix this is the purchase of an inexpensive water pressure gauge to check the pressure. Then, if it’s too high, you’ll simply need to install a pressure regulator.

No matter how closely you follow these five tips, or the five that we provided last week, water damage to your beloved home may be unavoidable. If something happens, we implore you to reach out to the experts at Abbotts Fire & Flood. We’ve been doing this for more than six decades and can provide assistance and relief right away, whether water damage is your concern or another type of disaster or inconvenience.