Nothing can ruin your day like a leaky appliance or burst pipe in your house. Preventing a soggy, inexpensive mess is easier than you may think. You can keep your home safe by following these six handy tips.

1. Disconnect hoses outside your home

Any water remaining in a hose can freeze into the connected pipe, creating an ice blockage that could prevent water flow. An even worse situation can develop when your pipes burst, leading to water damage to the floor, foundation, and walls.

2. Keep downspouts and gutters clean

At a minimum, you should clean your gutters and downspouts twice yearly to avoid blockage. If water is standing in these areas, it can lead to damage to your roof and gutters. Any overflow may form puddles that could result in foundation damage.

Be sure to clean your downspouts so that water has a good route to flow through. Secure your downspouts so that they are pointing away from your home.

3. Maintain landscaping

Having shrubs and trees around your home certainly adds to its property value, unless roots surround or enter your pipes, breaking them. For this reason, you should prune back landscaping near pipes or remove any shrubs and trees that are too large.

4. Investigate leaks promptly and repair

Choosing to ignore water damage and postponing needed repairs can lead to structural damage to your home due to rot, mold, and mildew.

Your homeowners insurance will cover sudden and accidental damage. However, damage resulting from improper maintenance is not typically covered.

5. Watch water pressure

If your water pressure is too high, hoses and pipes may fail. Attaching a water pressure gauge to an outside faucet should provide a good reading of your home’s water pressure.

6. Monitor your water bill

Your water bill can provide important clues that water is leaking around your home. If you notice a spike in water usage from month-to-month, you should begin investigating. It could be as simple as a leaky pipe in your yard or a leak in your crawlspace. Put on your detective hat and solve those mystery leaks.