As part of the “Be a home hero” series, this article joins a family of helpful stories like Prevent house fires: How can we prevent accidental fires at home and Preventing home burglary and water damage while you escape the cold. Because when you’re a step ahead of peril, you’re stepping up as a home hero.
Be a home hero: Save the day by keeping water leaks at bay.
From a sudden torrent of a sewage backup to the silent, steady drip of a hidden leak from an appliance, water can lead to significant damage to your home. In fact, water leaks contribute to over $200 million in claims paid annually*. The burden is more than just financial. Repairs can be time-consuming, require a lot of work, and present great disruption to your life. However, with a few steps to identify and prevent water leaks, you can be the hero who solves the problem before it becomes a big wet mess.
Top 4 causes of water leaks and water damage
Unwanted water can flow into your home from many different entry points. The most common claims come from:
- Frozen or damaged pipes
- Leaks from appliances like dishwashers and washing machines
- Damaged home exteriors and roofs
- Heavy rainfalls that cause home flooding from overwhelmed sewage systems
The most critical steps to prevent water leaks and protect your home from water damage
It only takes a little to prevent water problems. It can be as easy as adding routine maintenance and inspection of your home appliances when you do your regular household chores. Never flush items that will clog your toilet’s drainpipe. Always ensure someone is home when your dishwasher or washing machine are in use. Make sure your home is heated in winter to prevent water from freezing, which can expand and even cause a pipe to burst. Lastly, keeping your valuables off the floor or in plastic containers could help minimize the damage to your treasures if a leak occurs.
Important tools and resources to help identify and prevent water leaks
An investment in time and money can pay dividends in peace of mind.
Water Leak Alarms: alert you to hidden leaks.
Automatic water shut-off devices: can detect leaks and shut off your water main to minimize the chance of catastrophic damage.
Back up valves and sump pumps: can help manage the overflow of water from sewage backups.
Steel water lines for appliances: provides longer-lasting and fortified water lines.
Take action when you notice water leakage or damage in your home
To the best of your ability, identify the cause of the leak. If it’s a plumbing problem, turn off your water main. Speaking of which, you need to know where your water main is. You don’t want to waste time looking for it in a water leak emergency.
Sometimes the cause of the water damage isn’t evident. In any case, contact a plumber or home maintenance repair company to identify and address the issue. Once that’s complete, you can initiate an insurance claim to pay for the resulting damages.