Preventing Water Damage in the Utility Room

Continuing on our water damage prevention series (see our Avoiding Moisture Damage in Your Kitchen and Inspecting Your Bathroom for Water Damage articles if you missed them) we want to take a look at the utility room – or at least the individual components that go into most utility rooms (as some houses have them scattered everywhere from the attic to the basement). We’re going to look individually at preventing water damage from your: water heater, heating, ventilating and cooling systems (known also as HVAC in the biz). It doesn’t really matter where they’re located, it’s important to give them regular checkups to make sure they’re not suffering from water or damage control.

Water Heater

If you see any leaking or drips anywhere around the inlet or outlet pipes, this is a major problem, and you should turn off the water and power supply to the heater, and call a professional to make the necessary repairs. Also, make sure the bottom drain valves and drain pipes are flowing smoothly. If your tank is gas-powered, check to make sure the exhaust vent and shield are seated properly and functioning.

Heating Systems

Most people don’t think to check this, but most gas heating systems also generate water during combustion. Make sure that these are being properly ventilated and drained. It’s not the biggest source of water or moisture damage, but one that a lot of people fail to check.

Filters

Just about every component to you HVAC systems have filters, and you should be changing these monthly to minimize dust and moisture damage. Dust absorbs moisture, and can introduce water damage, mildew and mold in ventilation ducts.

AC

With your AC, make sure that you routinely check and clean the cooling drainage pan – you can do this easily with a wet vac. Also, check the supply lines, vents and duct-work and to make sure they’re clean and working properly. It is very important to check the filters, reservoir, pump and water connections twice each month during the operating season.

SMART TIP *

Hard water can cause leakage in all of your HVAC systems which leads to moisture and water damage.  Annual reservoir demineralizing treatments can go a long way in preventing water damage. Water softeners can be a big help and make your water easier on all your systems.