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Water, Your Greatest Enemy in the Home

You may be thinnking, "Water is an ally, not an enemy," but to your home it can most certainly be an enemy. A small water problem can become a BIG problem if it isnapostrophet addressed as soon as possible.

Most of you have probably heard about pipes breaking after a big freeze or water heaters that spring a leak but we often forget that it’s the small problems that are ignored that can result in the most costly damage.

I’d like give a few examples. A friend of mine, who is a homeowner, noticed a small leak at her porch roof where it comes in contact with the front of her house. It seemed to be just a small leak so she ignored it. In fact that leak had been there for a very long time and she ignored it for even longer. Then one day her porch literally fell off of the front of her house!

My friend Miriam, who is a handywoman, was asked to quote on refinishing a bathroom. She went over to see what work needed to be done and noticed that there were several areas around the rim of the tub that didn’t have caulking and several places in the tile where the grout had cracked and suggested they might discover a serious problem. The homeowners ultimately decided to do the remodel themselves and during demolition they found that the leaking water had not only damaged the wall behind the tile but had nearly disintegrated the floor beneath the tub. It was just a matter of time before the tub would have fallen through the floor.

Here are a few simple reminders to prevent the same thing happening to you.

1. Become familiar with your home. Understand how the basic systems in your home work and what indicators will assure you everything is working properly and how you would know if something is not quite right.

2. Learn the difference between a problem that needs to be handled immediately and one that can be left to the future. A hole in your drywall may look ugly but the repair can wait. But, the little pool of water under your bathroom sink, if it is ignored, can cause a big problem.

3. Start believing that water IS the greatest enemy of your home and do some simple things.

? Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and clear of debris.

? Cut back plants or trees that touch the sides of your ho