Tips every homeowner can do to protect your home from water damage
Water damage is something you think happens to “the other guy”. But then one day you come home from vacation or get up to see a couple of inches of water on the floor. Surprisingly, water damage happens more often then you think. For instance, did you know that in the average home up to 22 gallons of water are lost daily due to dripping faucets or malfunctioning toilets? According to the American Insurance Association, water damage is the second most frequently filed claim for US homeowners. Water damage is responsible for 9 billion dollars in property damage losses between 2007 and 2009. So what is the best way to protect your home from water damage?
Properly maintaining a home is one of the best ways to prevent water damage. Here are 5 tips for protecting your home from water damage
1) Insurance. When water damage occurs in your home, you don’t want to be surprised to find out you don’t have insurance protection that covers if you have plumbing or weather related water damage. Talk with your insurer to see if your homeowners or renters insurance covers protection in the case of mold damage, roof leak, burst pipes, faulty sump pump, sewer and drain backups, or flooding.
2) Check major appliances for leaks. This is a list of the common causes of plumbing leaks that lead to water damage in our homes. Any appliance that is connected to water can spur a leak that can cause water damage. Check the connections, valves, and pipes on dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, and icemakers.
3) Look at Kitchen/Bathroom Facilities. Check the hoses and faucets on toilets, sinks, showers, and tubs. Even a pin size leak can turn create major damage in your home. Inspect the caulk to see if any repairs need to be made to keep a water tight seal. Preventive maintenance will guard against water seepage.
4) Water Valve. It’s really important to know where the water valve is located and how to shut it off. IF a major water leak occurs, it’s important to find and shut the water off fast. When you pack your bags to leave for vacation, remember to shut off the main water valve. That way if a leak does spring while you are gone, the damage will be minimal.
5) Shut Off Icemaker. You may want to turn off your ice maker if you are going to be away from home for a week or more. It’s super easy and takes less than a minute to do. Look for a switch on the front of your ice maker. If you see one, simply flip it to the “off” position.