How to Tackle Your Properties’ Water Problems to Avoid Fees, Lower Bills

By Elsie Dudukovich1 Comments

Property owners in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas, and Nebraska are well aware of the hardships of drought conditions aggravated by a hot summer.  According to the United States Drought Monitor, significant areas of the United States are facing drought situations. 

With fines issued for excessive water use and concerns about shortages of potable water, no one wants to be guilty of wasting water.  Wasting water through preventable drips and leaks is something you do not want in the urgency of a drought situation. In normal, non-drought conditions, detecting and preventing water leaks protects a property from damage and reduces overall undue expenses.
Water leaks can happen inside and outside of the property.  Checking for water leaks in obvious places is the easiest way to get started.  Dripping faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms add up over time in terms of cost, damage, and waste. 

Faulty roofing is another common source of leaks, as are pipes.  As you look around the house, make sure you also check from floor to ceiling.  A small water leak near the ceiling might leave evidence on the tops of bookcases or other tall furniture, or in and around lighting fixtures, instead of noticeably cascading to the floor. 
The same is true for floor level leaks around toilets, showers, and bathtubs; be alert for smaller amounts of water that are just too much to be condensation or from other explainable sources.

While a plumber can provide expert advice, here are some basic things that give away a water leak to get you started:
  • Is there visible stagnant or standing water?
  • Are there any consistent puddles or damp places in the yard or area surrounding the property?
  • Have you noticed unexplainable puddles of any size or wetness on floors or other surfaces?
  • Is the water bill unusually high or show an unexplainable increase in usage?
  • Are there water marks on the walls, including the baseboards, or other surfaces?
  • Do you see any mold or mildew growing?
  • Are you noticing foul odors coming from the floors, drains or sewers, or walls?
  • Have you heard running or trickling water – even if there is no water turned on or in use?
Like other property repair concerns, being able to catch a potential problem in the making or an issue when it is still small is a preferred outcome. posted an interesting article on finding water leaks in areas of the house often overlooked.  For example, a dishwasher with pooling water from not draining or with a door that no longer closes completely or correctly can cause leaks but be a relatively simple fix.  Checking the hoses and connections on washing machines and outdoor hoses is something people might overlook when checking for leaks.  If an appliance uses water or produces condensation, take a moment to make sure it is in good working order.

If a property your IRA holds has a leak and you are paying for the expense of the damage or the solution to the situation, remember:
  • When it comes to owning an investment in your IRA, it is vital to make sure all expenses are paid from the IRA and all income goes back into the IRA.   
  • Make sure any work, money, and/or materials come from someone other than you and is someone the IRS does not consider a disqualified individual; you or a disqualified individual cannot work on or use personal funds towards an IRA investment. 
Equity Trust Company requires clients to submit a Bill Pay Direction of Investment form to direct Equity Trust to send funds from the IRA to pay for any expenses related to the IRA investments.  Clients can easily submit online bill pay requests through