Water Damage -Avoid It By Detecting Problems
Everyone who has homeowner’s insurance is aware that water damage is a huge threat to your home. Even when there is a fire in your home, the damage caused by the water used to put out the flames can cause as much destruction as the fire itself. A tiny leak can turn into a major cosmetic or structural problem. Furthermore, water can be the source of a mold problem. A fast and sudden flood can be less destructive because it’s easy to notice – it will get cleaned up as quickly as it gets noticed. Sometimes, the cleanup is overwhelming, and requires extensive work to be contracted.
There are many ways to monitor the plumbing, washing, and refrigeration equipment in your home. Keeping an eye on the way this equipment functions will help prevent water damage in your home. We have some advice about checking and maintaining your equipment.
TALK TO A PLUMBER ABOUT POTENTIAL WATER DAMAGE
Ask a local plumber about using reinforced hoses, water detection devices, and installing water shut-off valves and sensor / shut-off devices in your home around washing machines and dishwashers. If a plumber is working around your house, maybe they’ll be willing to check the appliances and make sure there are not threats of water leaking or pipes bursting. Your plumber might recommend changing rubber and plastic hoses on those appliances with reinforced hoses equipped with steel braiding or mesh. These cost a little more but offer much more peace of mind.
A washing machine does not have to be in operation to leak. Inspection of the hoses behind your machine should be a routine home maintenance procedure. Sometimes hoses can become kinked or cracked.
If you replace the hoses on your equipment yourself, make sure you unplug the machine first, or turn off the electrical breaker. It is also important to make sure the water is turned off. Don’t forget to turn the water back on and carefully make sure all the connections are secure after changing the hoses.
There’s a GADGET for Everything
There are several devices that homeowners can use to test and check for water leakage. In some cases this equipment can alert homeowners when a problem exists, lessening the severity of a leak in your home.
Pressure Testing Gauge
When water pressure is too high, it can cause pipes to burst. Hoses, pipes and water lines can crack under pressure and create leaks or gushes that could cause thousands of dollars in water damage.
At most hardware or home improvement stores you can find a simple and inexpensive device called a water pressure gauge which can be attached to an indoor or outdoor faucet, and this device can read your home’s water pressure. If it is above the recommended psi, it will need to be reset by installing a pressure reducing valve, also available at hardware, plumbing supply or home improvement stores. Measuring your water pressure and installing a pressure reducing valve is a quick do-it-yourself project that can add years of life to your home plumbing.
Inexpensive water detectors are available – battery-powered ones can be placed on sump pumps. Floor sensors can be placed near plumbing or appliances that may leak. You don’t need any tools, and installation is often simple. Don’t forget to check the batteries and power sources regularly, just as you do for smoke detectors.
Water shut-off valves are available as manual, automatic or a combination of both.
Installing a manual shut-off valve on the water supply to your washing machine is a great way to prevent water damage. A great practice is to make it a habit to shut off the water to your washer any time you’re not using it. Make sure you shut it off when you leave for a weekend or longer so a hose burst does not go undetected for days or weeks.
More sophisticated and costly water-sensor systems automatically shut off the water supply to a specific appliance or to the entire house when a leak is detected. The price and installation of these electronic systems can vary. Some are easy to install yourself; for others, a plumber must install the special valves and an electrician must wire the sensors.
At Waxhaw Insurance Agency, we recommend taking any extra measures to avoid water damage in your home. Claims associated with water damage can be expensive, and having repair work done on your home due to water damage is such an huge inconvenience. If something does go wrong, rest assured we’ll make sure you are covered if you you have your home insured by us.