Did you know that the cause of one of the most common homeowner's insurance claims is completely preventable? No . it's not fires or theft; it's water damage. This is not damage due to flooding, heavy rain storms or snow on the roof-rather, it's due to simple maintenance tasks that are often ignored or go unnoticed.
Water Damage Prevention
How does water damage occur? It's simple: homeowners fail to check the connection between the water line and their washing machine or other similar appliances. Eventually, the connection fails, and water leaks into the home until someone discovers the mess. If this occurs while you are gone for the day, at work or out of town the damage could be extensive and expensive to fix. Sources of leaks include:
- Dishwasher hoses
- Automatic ice-maker lines
- Hot water heaters
- Washing machine hoses
- Hot water tanks
Water leaks are dangerous because, if not corrected immediately, the damage to flooring and walls can be expensive. These types of damages are also not necessarily covered by a homeowners insurance policy. This is because dry rot and mould can develop over time in conjunction with a leak, which is a preventable loss.
Do a quick check of all your water lines from time to time, especially in low-traffic areas of the home. Look for signs of leaks and mould. If you notice anything suspicious, contact a licensed professional to come take a look immediately.
- Check hoses for kinks and cracks when you do laundry, and replace your washing machine hose every five years with a high-pressure hose. At a cost of less than $10, it's an inexpensive way to ward off costly problems.
- Check for signs of leakage by inspecting the floor near your water heater and other appliances. Hire a licensed technician to periodically inspect appliances, and replace a water heater that is more than 10 years old.
- Inspect the refrigerator, dishwasher and outdoor taps for leaks and crimps.
- Place a tub under your kitchen sink to catch leaks before they start.
- If you move your refrigerator to clean the floor, do not overextend the icemaker line. Call a licensed technician if you see signs of moisture or brittleness.
* Water Damage Exclusion during the heating season:
Insurance Companies do not insure loss or damage caused by freezing during the usual heating season unless certain precautions are taken. These precautions may include;
- Shut off water supply and drain pipes and domestic water containers
- Arrange for a competent person to enter your dwelling each day you are away to ensure heating is being maintained when you have been away for more than 4 consecutive days
- Plumbing and heating system is connected to a monitored alarm station providing 24hour service