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Keep Disaster at Bay by Preventing Water Damage

Plumber Working on a Water Heater in a Columbia RentalOne of the more common problems that Columbia rental property owners have to watch out for is water damage. Even when the quantity of water is small, it can still damage a building. It can get into ceiling joists, walls, floors, and even weaken the foundation. Just a shallow couple of inches of water on the floor can result in damages that would cost tens of thousands of dollars worth of repairs. As a property owner, it really isn’t possible to avoid every water-related emergency. However, there are some things you can do to help prevent water damage. This would, in turn, save you from the costly repairs that come with it. Here are tips that you can follow to keep your Columbia investment property safe from preventable floods and leaks.

Prepare for Severe Weather

Water damage from severe weather incidents is a common problem. This is especially true in places where storms are a regular part of life. You may experience some water damage if there are strong winds and heavy rain. And if your property is in a flood-prone area, you may need to prepare for the possibility of flash flooding as well.

To prevent water damage, it’s critical to equip your rental property for severe weather. For instance, you have to do an annual inspection of your roof and make sure to seal all cracks or gaps you find. If there are any missing shingles, replace them. Then, make sure that your flashing, gutters, and downspouts are installed correctly and in good shape. If you’re expecting some heavy rain, make sure that the drainage around your property’s foundation is helping water flow away from the walls. If your property is located in a flood zone, you’ll need some additional protection. Have sandbags or sandbagging supplies on hand (or nearby) as a precaution. Even during unexpected weather events, preparation is critical. A little preparation goes a long way in keeping your property safe and dry.

Clean the Gutters

Another cause of water damage is clogged gutters. Sometimes, they may even be incorrectly installed. The gutter system is designed to draw water away from the rental property structure. The problem occurs when leaves, twigs, and other debris clog the gutters. In this case, the water will overflow down the side of the house instead. When this happens, so many problems can arise– leaking ceilings, wood rot, damaged drywall, and ruined flooring. And, if not addressed quickly enough, leaking gutters can wreak havoc on your landscaping and even erode a cement foundation.

To prevent this from happening, simply clean your rental property’s gutters at least twice a year. Inspect your gutter system for any leaks and pooling water and remove any debris you find. When you get into the practice of cleaning and making small repairs on a gutter system, you’ll be preventing water damage. In addition to that, you’ll also save on repair costs in the long run.

Inspect Your Plumbing (and Water Heater)

The inside of your rental property could also suffer from water damage. Usually, plumbing issues are to blame. Leaking pipes, broken faucets, worn-out washing machine hoses, and old water heaters are the potential causes of water damage. Even something people usually dismiss as small– like a slow or blocked drain– can actually cause serious water damage. And that damage could potentially require costly emergency repairs.

To stop water damage from happening inside your rental home, see to it that your entire plumbing system is inspected at least yearly. A professional plumber would be able to spot developing problems during an inspection. Then you could have these issues dealt with immediately. By fixing the plumbing problems while they’re still small, you can prevent water disasters from happening. And you get the added bonus of saving money on repairs. It’s also important to keep track of your water heater’s condition– including its age. Make sure that it is serviced regularly and that you have it replaced before it fails. A failing water heater can possibly flood a basement or garage and damage it. If this were to happen, you’d have to pay for clean-up and repairs on top of having to purchase a replacement water heater. By replacing it before it fails, your cash flows will be easier to manage and you’d avoid any unnecessary expenses.


Preventing water damage could be quite challenging. You’d need to spend a lot of time and effort. Instead of doing it all yourself, consider hiring one of our professional Columbia property managers to handle your preventive maintenance and inspections. To learn more, contact us online.

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