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Protecting Your New Home from Water Leaks and Damage

May 10, 2019


Protecting Your New Home from Water Leaks and Potential Water Damage Restoration Costs

A new home, when built well, brings years of joy and becomes a place you and your family create a lifetime of memories. However, the quality of construction is only as good as the home builder you choose.


At Eaglewood Homes, we know that a vital component of any home is preventing water damage and flooding. When a home builder fails to properly waterproof a home, homeowners may face major repairs and large water damage restoration bills.  Some builders try to cut costs by using cheap building materials and labor.  Even if this doesn’t cause immediate problems, it can be a major headache a few years in.  Eaglewood uses quality materials and trusted craftsmen on every new home we build so you can be sure your home will stand the test of time.


External Waterproofing

The National Association of Home Builders recommends other best practices for exterior drainage and moisture control to prevent water infiltration into your home. Elements include overhangs, gutters, flashing and water-resistant barriers, foundation drains, and site grading. Eaglewood takes extensive landscaping measures to prevent water infiltration to your crawl space.  We never plant grass or sprinkler systems up next to the foundation and always grade surrounding dirt so that water will drain away from your foundation.  Foundation drains are one thing that other builders cut out – because you can’t see it.  Perimeter foundation drains catch the water that settles in the ground next to your foundation and drains it to your street or sewer.  Without this drain, water can leech through your foundation walls into your crawl space. In addition, all of our gutter downspouts are connected to this same underground drainage system. Downspouts on most other new homes empty right onto the ground next to your foundation.

Other proper building principles include sealing doors and windows and including window flashing. Reputable home builders will always build to these standards.


Be a Proactive Homeowner

You must be proactive and knowledgeable about the multitude of factors that cause water damage. Awareness is critical to preventing leaks and water damage.

  • Leaky roof
  • Leaking pipes or burst pipes
  • Improper grading and drainage
  • Rainfall
  • Melting snow
  • Insufficient gutters
  • Weeping pipes or walls
  • Failed sewer or septic pipe or pump
  • Failed sump pump
  • Clogged drains or line blockage
  • Landscaping issues

When you move into your home, remember that water damage prevention is a life-long process. Statistics show that on average, one in 50 homeowners claim property damage caused by water damage each year; however, homeowners can prevent more than 90 percent of water damage. Additional information is available. Standard Restoration has an excellent blog post discussing what homeowners should know about leaks.


In general, there are maintenance steps you can take proactively to protect your home from moisture damage:

  • Inspect your roof for leaks and damage. Inspect for cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing. Look for curling, blistering or buckling shingles; missing or broken shingles; cracked and worn rubber components around vent pipes; damage around the chimney; and leaves, moss, lichen or other organic debris.
  • Install, clean and inspect gutters and downspouts and be sure the downspouts are correctly located (five to ten feet away from the structure) and direct water away from the home.
  • Inspect walls and ceilings for discoloration or dampness. The stains are a sign that there is a leak.
  • Periodically check and replace hoses around the home.
  • Check for frozen pipes in the winter and adequately insulate these before cold weather is an issue.
  • Know where to locate your emergency water valve shut off.
  • Use drain and floor plans under appliances, water heaters and your HVAC system
  • Monitor your water bill for spikes which often indicate a possible leak.
  • Analyze landscaping. Avoid or relocate foundation plantings that require frequent watering.

There is never a good time to deal with water leaks and ensuing water damage, but an exceptionally lousy time is when you are away from your home. No one wants to return home from their vacation to a ruptured pipe, broken water heater or other major leaks that can be catastrophic. Before you leave home for an extended time, find your main water shutoff valve and shut off the water supply. It is a smart idea to test it to determine that it operates smoothly. If you are a snowbird leaving for the winter or vacationing during the coldest months, be sure to drain the water from your system after you shut off the water supply. This process includes opening faucets, flushing toilets and draining appliances.

Even the most careful maintenance and care cannot prevent every water-related accident. If you have water damage or flooding, contact your water restoration company for help and expert advice.

Discuss water damage prevention with the home builder before you begin any construction or renovation project. At Eaglewood Homes, our skilled craftsmen and construction experts have the experience and knowledge that will ensure your new home meets the highest quality standards and is protected inside and out from water damage. Call us today to talk about your new home.

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