Water damage accounts for about 25% of all homeowners’ property insurance claims.
Some of these problems are the result of events beyond our control such as torrential rain and hurricanes. Significant water damage is often caused when ordinary household appliances or plumbing fail. We can do quite a bit to avoid the costs and inconvenience of water damage.
Step one: Locate the “main water valve” for the home. Ensure that it is not frozen (rusted or calcified) in the open position; hard water in our area is not friendly to valves. If there is difficulty in operating that valve, have it replaced.
In the event of trouble, this might be the way to minimize damage and costs.
Step two: Identify potential “Hot Spots” where damage might occur. These include:
Air Conditioning Condensation Pumps, drains and hoses.
Water Heater pipes, valves and tank (corrosion over time…)
Washing Machine hoses and valves
Dishwasher hoses (inside adjacent cabinets)
Bathroom Fixture connections (pipes to and from sinks, toilets, etc.)
Bathroom caulking in and around showers, tubs and sinks and tiles
Outdoor Gutters, Downspouts and Drains (keep these clear and properly shaped to ensure rain/snow water removal away from home foundations)
Identify ceiling locations underneath plumbing fixtures (e.g. the 1st floor ceiling under the 2nd floor bathtub) to spot any damage from (normally) inaccessible pipe leakage; don’t ignore cellar/basement ceilings
Baseboard and Radiator pipes/joints/valves
Heat pipe joints, if accessible
Water Filter connections
Anything else that uses or contains water (e.g. Fish tanks?)
Step 3: Keep the phone number of a trusted plumber at hand
All Hot Spots should be examined monthly for any leaks and/or corrosion. Just watching for any items that need your attention, and maybe a plumber, can save a tremendous amount of stress and money over time.