4 Common Places to Check for Water Damage BEFORE it Happens
Sooner or later, a water source in your home will fail. Water damage is one of the most common home insurance claims and the average cost of these claims in 2014 was over $9,000. Water damage can be avoided but knowing what signs to look for is important. Common places to check are:
- Water Valves: Look for leaks or areas where it appears a leak has occurred in the past on your valves. Valves come out of the wall and connect your faucets, toilets and washing machines. Common signs of failure of these valves could be efflorescence on the pipe or fitting. It may appear white, green or yellow. This is a mineral buildup from water that is deposited when the water dries. If you suspect a valve is failing or connection is becoming corroded, have a plumber change these out. This can also be an easy do-it-yourself project if the valve is the screw on type, not connected to the pipe with solder. Additionally, the cost of this repair is under $5.00.
- Drain Failure: From time to time, it would be recommended to stick your head in your crawl space. Crawl spaces will show exposed drain pipes as well as your other ducting and water pipes. Drain pipes are typically large black pipes up to 4” in diameter and will have no insulation on them. An easy way to scan for leaks is to look at your vapor barrier. Vapor barriers stop moisture from coming up into your home, so if your drain pipes are leaking, the water would be deposited on top of the vapor barrier and leave a stain as it dries. Correcting a failed drain could be a simple as resealing.
- Broken Pipe: Broken pipes are most commonly caused from pipes being exposed to freezing temperatures. Pipes inside of walls can freeze if a home’s heat source fails in cold weather, a house is left vacant or if unusually cold weather gets to an under insulated home. Protecting your home from frozen pipes usually means keeping the heat on and insulating exposed water pipes. If you plan to leave your home vacant for some time, it would be wise to turn off your water in case a pipe does burst, water will not fill your home while you’re away.
- Washing Machine Hoses: Washing machines require a large hose to fill them. These hoses hold an incredible amount of pressure so regularly checking them is important. You’ll want to check for bulges, cracks or other signs of wear. One of the best ways to help avoid a claim is to purchase the braided stainless steel water supply hoses. While more expensive, they have a longer life and can save you from a costly claim. Your dishwasher uses a similar hose, so consider replacing that one as well. Most dishwashers are held into place with just 2 screws and can be easily removed.
Following these safety tips can help you avoid a very costly water claim in your home not to mention, the loss of personal property and the loss of being able to stay in your home! Many homeowners are forced out while the repairs in the home can take place.
If you have questions about your home or renters insurance, call the insurance agents at Mills Insurance Services. They have offices in Los Alamitos and Palm Desert. Their years of insurance experience can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or motorcycle. They live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so they can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out their website, 24/7.