Water damage from broken pipes, leaky toilets or other water sources in the home is one of the most frequent causes of homeowner’s claims. You can reduce your home’s risk of severe water damage by incorporating these four strategies.
1. Utilize Technology
Most homes are equipped with a manual shut-off valve that will allow the homeowner to shut off the water to the house when a leak is discovered. Unfortunately, these shut-off valves are not always easy to access and by the time the homeowner discovers a leak and then finds and operates the shut-off valve, a significant amount of damage has already occurred. Smart technology, such as a WaterCop installation, can be used to detect leaks and reduce the response time by shutting off the water as soon as a leak is detected.
2. Disconnect Hoses for Winter
Water in an outdoor hose can freeze, creating an ice block that may slow or stop water flowing in the attached pipe or cause the pipe to burst. Disconnecting hoses can remove this potential source of burst or leaky pipes. It is also a good idea to drain your hoses before storing them for the winter to avoid the potential for a burst hose.
3. Regularly Inspect Your Appliances
Hoses and valves can become worn, cracked or leaky over time. You should regularly check any appliance that is hooked up to a water source and repair or replace any damaged or leaking parts. In addition to replacing hoses with obvious damage, it is a good practice to replace all hoses every five to seven years.
4. Watch for Signs of Leaks
Sometimes leaks can remain hidden for a long time, but there are usually signs you can watch for. If your water bill has suddenly increased this can be a sign that you have a leak somewhere. Watch for rust-colored stains on your ceiling tiles, toilet, and walls. Investigate any musty smells. Check for leaks anywhere you find floor tiles that are warped or pulling up. Watch for condensation or corrosion on pipes. Mold thrives in moist environments, so an increase inmay also indicate you have a leak.
Some water damage has an obvious source, such as a burst pipe or an overflowing toilet, other sources can be more difficult to find. Taking these four steps can help reduce your chance of your home being severely damaged by water.