Water leakage is the most common form of damage to the home. With an average cost around $5,000 for water damage repairs, it’s definitely a problem worth a watchful eye. Most of these damage claims are a result of a broken washing machine or hot-water heater. While these appliances were once tucked away primarily in the basement, now they are conveniently located on main or upper floors. When they malfunction the water leakage damages walls and ceilings causing extensive, time-consuming and costly repairs.
There are preventative measures you can take to reduce the chance of water damage in your home from a faulty appliance. They involve the following:
- An average water heater lasts about 10 years. If you notice wet spots on the floor or rust forming on the tank it is a good idea to think about replacing it.
- A worn out rubber or plastic hose is an accident waiting to happen. Examine the hoses on your appliances and under sinks for leaks from water lines or drain pipes. Consider replacing them with stainless steel hoses which have a much longer lifespan.
- If your air conditioning unit is located in the attic check it periodically and have it maintained by a professional. Make sure that your service agreement includes inspecting and cleaning the unit annually. A leak starting in the attic will do considerable damage.
- Only run dishwashers and washing machines while you are home. If the appliance should malfunction you can turn the water off in order to avoid a huge flood. It is, of course, vital that you know where the main water shut off valve is located in your home.
- For less than the cost of dinner you can purchase a water alarm. They work much the same way as smoke alarms do and are simple to install. They can be placed on the floor or wall mounted. The alarm’s sensor will trigger if exposed to any level of moisture.
Some water damage is covered by homeowner’s insurance and some is not. In some instances a policy will only cover damage if regular maintenance has been performed. It is therefore essential that these areas are checked before you suffer losses that you can’t afford to cover.