Tools & Materials
In this video, This Old House host Kevin O’Connor and damage prevention specialist Michael Milligan look for water damage points.
1. Look for water damage inside the kitchen sink cabinet. Run your finger under the trap beneath the sink. If you feel moisture, use pliers to tighten the fittings on the trap. If the trap is damaged or corroded, replace it.
2. Inspect the water-supply lines under kitchen sink for excessive moisture or bubbling water at the connections. Check lines connected to the faucet, dishwasher and icemaker.
3. Look for discoloration or staining on the floor of the sink cabinet, which is an indication of a leak.
4. Wipe the sink cabinet floor with a dry cloth to detect moisture.
5. In the laundry room, place plastic pan under washing machine in case of a leak. However, to prevent the pan from overflowing, be sure to connect it to a nearby drainpipe.
6. Check the hot- and cold-water hoses connected to your washing machine. Replace if the hoses if there are any signs of damage, wear or corrosion. And replace both hoses every three to five years.
7. Install a manual shut-off valve behind the washing machine, so that you can easily turn off both the hot and cold water.
8. Install an electric water sensor, which will automatically turn off the water to the washing machine when it detects a leak or excessive moisture.
9. To prevent frozen water pipes in an unheated basement or crawl space, insulate all water-supply lines with pipe insulation.