Flooding caused by a leaking water heater can be one of the most aggravating and damaging home disasters you will ever experience.  In addition to the mess caused by gallons of hot water spilling onto your floor, there is also the expense of cleanup and repairs.  But the damage can go beyond flooding.  So, to prevent water-heater-related issues, check your water heater regularly!

​Avoid Water Heater Failure With the Following Steps

Check your water heater’s age. If your water heater reaches its life expectancy, the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases. Consequently, your efforts to inspect and maintain the water heater should increase.

What is an anode rod and why should you care?  A “sacrificial” anode rod is installed in water heaters to avoid corrosion of the tank. To determine if your anode rod needs to be replaced, it should be inspected once every two years and at least annually once the warranty has expired.

Clean out your water heater regularly. Regular water heater maintenance should include removing sediment by flushing the tank every six months. Water heaters can be flushed by attaching a garden hose to the valve at the base of the water heater. Note: It’s always best to consult with a reputable plumbing company or a professional to ensure maintenance of any kind is done correctly.

Get an inspection annually.  Don’t forget to have a plumbing professional inspect your water heater’s shut-off valve and all piping annually. Signs of broken valves and loose or wet joints and rust are a signal that more severe damage is coming.

The Hazards of Water Heater Overflows

Because of the fact that water heater flooding has the added elements of high temperature and late detection, the number of threats that it creates exceeds that of normal flooding. Be aware of the following if you have a water heater overflow:

  • Hot water burns – The initial burst of water from a heater is scalding hot, so be sure not to rush in, especially if you see steam all over your basement. Put on protective clothing before attempting anything. Better yet, contact Sage Restoration to do the job for you.
  • Electrocution by water – A flooded basement carries the risk of having the water making contact with power outlets and exposed wiring. When this happens, the floodwater carries a strong electric current that’s enough to kill anyone. When you see your basement flooded, resist the impulse to dive into the water in an attempt to shut the leaking heater down. Our professionals can help. We are experts who know the safest procedure for shutting down the water source and containing and extracting the water from your property.
  • Potential fire starter – Flooding doesn’t just create an electrical hazard, it can also short-circuit your electrical system and create sparks. Faulty electrical wiring is one of the most common causes of fire.
  • Water damage – When the water spills beyond the immediate surroundings of the heater and gets into your living and work spaces, the threat of water damage arises. Water can ruin carpets, damage wood, corrode metals and toast expensive appliances and machinery.
  • Mold growth – Mold spores can activate in places where there’s sufficient moisture and organic matter to sustain them. If your property was flooded by an overflowing heater, there’s a good chance that mold growth can follow suit. While seemingly harmless at first glance, mold can irritate our noses and skin when its spores are inhaled. Under certain conditions, mold colonies can turn black and toxic.

Water heater failure is one of the top five sources of residential water damage. The longer you wait the worse it can get and attempting to clean up the water yourself could be dangerous and risky. Contact the experienced professionals at Sage Restoration for a quick and easy resolution to your problem. 

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