- Know The Location Of Your Water Main
You’d be surprised how many homeowners have no idea where their water main is located. And knowing where your water main is located is the first step in preventing or minimizing any water damage disaster.
- Check Appliances Regularly
It’s important to inspect and maintain your home appliances regularly for any hidden leaks. Leaking or malfunctioning appliances account for a significant portion of water damage claims.
- Install Floor/Drain Pans at Hot Water Heater and AC
While they won’t protect your home from a catastrophic leak, they can help prevent any damage from small or slow undetected leaks.
- Upgrade Washing Machine Hoses
Washing machine leaks are among the most frequent causes of water damage loss for homeowners. Replace washing machine hoses at least every five years and consider using a flood safe hose. Replace your hoses regularly could avoid a nasty mess and expensive damage.
- Inspect Your Refrigerator
If your refrigerator has an ice maker or water dispenser, be sure to double check the water line hose between the fridge and the wall for any leaks. And again, consider upgrading to a flood safe hose.
- Inspect Your Water Heater
Be sure to inspect your water heater at least once a year, keeping an eye out for any slow leaks, water pooling, or any rust or corrosion, especially on the water pipes connecting the heater to the plumbing system. If you do spot any issues, be sure to have your water heater serviced by a professional as soon as you can..
- Inspect Your Air Conditioning Unit
Another major culprit in water damage claims is your air conditioning unit. It’s a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” Air conditioning units are usually tucked away in a dark closet somewhere in the house that you rarely ever check, even worse when they’re located in the attic.
Know how your condensate drain works. Does it have a float switch and pump? Have a qualified service person inspect and service you unit at least before summer, preferably every 6 months.
- Inspect Your Attic
It’s another case of “out of sight, out of mind.” Most homeowners never step foot into their attics, and signs of water damage in the attic may not sure until it’s too late, especially if it’s a slow leak. The issue with water damage in your attic is that it’s the prime environment for mold growth. Water saturates the wood and insulation causing mold to grow and spread – not only causing water damage to your home but now you have a health hazard that you need to deal with.
Another scenario is when water pools in the attic until your ceiling can’t handle the stress anymore and comes crashing down. A routine check of your attic is definitely worth your time.
- Seal Windows & Doors
Rain and snow can easily invade your home through badly fitted windows or doors, especially in conjunction with strong winds blowing against the side of your home.
Water seepage inside windows can damage your window frames and surrounding drywall. Fix this by applying caulk at exterior frame and trim and use weather stripping to seal windows and doors that aren’t closing tightly.
Do you live in an area with frequent storms? Consider installing storm windows to provide an additional layer of protection against wind and rain.
Properly sealed windows and doors will not only help keep water out but can also save electricity.
- Inspect Hoses, Faucets, & Sinks
It’s best to routinely check the hoses, faucets, and sinks for signs of any leaks. Be sure to check underneath the cabinets and keep an eye out for any water stains. Have these leaks addressed before they become worse.
Shut off valves (stops) should be changed out at 10 years. They are cheap units subject to failure due to the chemicals in our water supply. These valves are located at every fixture including toilets, faucets at bath and kitchen sinks.
- Inspect Showers, Tubs, & Toilets
Your showers and tubs are constantly being exposed to water, there’s obviously no way around it. Usually built with tile and glass enclosures, they do a pretty good job of draining water and preventing any water flow outside of the designated wet areas. Over time, the caulking or grout between tiles can break off or become damaged. Be sure to repair these grout lines and caulk wherever necessary to prevent water from permeating the tile and damaging the underlying drywall.
- Check Pipes
Check any and all accessible pipes for any cracks or leaks. If you find any damage, be sure to have it repaired immediately to prevent even more costly repairs in the future.
- Never Pour Grease Down Sinks
Odds are, you’ve probably heard this before. Avoid pouring grease (hot or cold) down your kitchen sink; it also won’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water. Grease can congeal and cling to your pipes, causing severe damage and blocking water flow.
- Use A Drain Snake Instead Of Chemicals
Clogs are inevitable and are going to happen, no matter how clean you are. Chances are you’ve used a powerful chemical drain cleaner to get the water flowing again. However, as convenient as they are, these chemicals can also eat away at your pipes, setting yourself up for leaks. Consider owning a drain snake, they’re pretty inexpensive, and they’re a great solution to clear away any clogs.
- Monitor Your Water Bill
With so many water pipes hidden behind walls and floors, you might not know there’s a leak until the damage is visible. Keep an eye on your water bill, if you see it starting to creep up or receive an unusually high bill, it could be a sign that you may have a leak somewhere in your home.
- Shut Off Your Water Supply When On Vacation
Be sure to turn off your home’s water supply when you go on vacation. Some of the most common causes of water damage in the summer months are when families leave on vacation. Their homes empty for days, weeks, and sometimes even months. If there was a leak, even a small one, it’d be left unchecked and can cause a substantial amount of damage by the time someone ever notices.
- Install Water Leak Detection Devices/Alarms
Water Alarms work similarly to smoke alarms. When the device detects water in a specific area, an alarm is triggered. Basic leak detection devices are relatively inexpensive, ranging from $10-$30 each and require a 9-volt battery. You can place them directly on the floor or mount them in a variety of locations: in the basement, the attic, near your air conditioner, refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machines – basically anywhere in the house that’s susceptible to water damage.
- Install A Water Flow Monitoring System
Water flow monitoring systems protect your entire house by measuring the flow of water into your home, directly attaching to your water main. In the event that it detects continuous water flow that isn’t consistent with your everyday use of household appliances, it stops the flow of water into your house automatically. Check out LeakSmart, a complete system with reporting to your smart phone.
For more information about your Policy and Interior Water Damage, send us an email at Info@SWFLAgency.com.
SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc.