Prevent Water Damage With These Easy Tips
Did you know that water damage is one of the top reasons homeowners file an insurance claim? Water damage claims are filed more often than storms, fires, or theft, and they can be very costly. Since your home has a variety of pipes and drains running throughout, one leak can spell disaster for a large area. A plumber can help if you already have damage to your pipes or water systems, but there are also some things you can do as preventive measures to reduce your chance of suffering from water damage.
Know the High-Risk Appliances
There are some appliances at higher risk of becoming damaged or springing leaks, based on the way they are made and the way they connect to your water and drain systems. High-risk areas include:
- Hoses on your washing machine and dishwasher
- Automatic icemaker/refrigerator water lines
- Water heaters
- Sinks, tubs, and showers
All of these areas are at higher risk because the pipes, drains, and appliances are in areas where you don’t often spend time—under sinks, inside the walls, and down in your basement or in your garage. If an appliance has a hose, it’s best to inspect it and replace it about once every three years. In cases where there are pipes under the sink or in an out-of-the-way place, be sure to shine a light on them about once a year to make sure they look like they’re still in working order. Even if you don’t see water leaking, you can look for telltale signs of leaks around the area, such as peeling paint, blisters, bulges, or cracks. Make a note of when you inspect/replace these items so you can stay on a good schedule.
Be Aware of Your Climate
Another dangerous time for water, hoses, and pipes is extreme temperatures or extreme weather. If you live in an area that is very cold, you want to inspect all pipes that could be exposed to the outdoors often during winter months so you can identify cracks or other problems with freezing pipes. In hotter climates, or areas where the pipes and hoses could become damages from extreme weather like tornadoes or hurricanes, be sure to check them regularly, especially after a major weather event.
Know How to Shut it Off
If you do notice a leak in your pipes or other water damage, getting the water shut off quickly can save you lots of money and hassle by preventing further damage and flooding. Teach everyone in your family where the water shutoff valve is, and how to operate it in case you ever need to turn it off in an emergency. If you are planning to leave your home for an extended period of time, for a vacation or other event, consider turning off your water while you’re away as a precautionary measure.
If you find a leaky pipe, don’t hesitate to call a plumber right away. Even if the leak seems small at the time, catching it early can save you a lot of money, time, and hassle, and prevent damage to your walls, carpets, and personal belongings.
Pacific Drain Services, a locally owned Portland Plumber company, and Robert King have joined forces to help the public protect their home from plumbing related damages. A few simple steps can save you a bundle in water damage!