Preventing Water Damage
One of the most common reasons people make claims on their home insurance is water damage. The frequent cause of most water damage in homes are associated with flooded basement, leaky appliances and burst pipes. When pipe bursts, or an appliance malfunctions, there is the probability for distressing damages. This will not only cause damage to your homes but leaking and burst pipes can also result in abnormally high water bills.
Some things are out of your control, but there are a lot of small things you can do to minimize your risk and rest a bit easier.
Here’s how you can prevent water damage from appliances in your home:
- Air conditioner units – Air conditioning units are leak susceptible and can lead to water damage, if not occasionally maintained. Routine tasks that does not involve hiring professional most of the time can be done.
The drain line is clogged – Condensed water that the A/C unit has produced and transported outside the house are collected using the drain line. It gets clogged dirt, algae and even mold or mildew which may cause water to overflow into the home.
- Use a vacuum to suck out the water and debris from the outdoor drain pipe.
- Pour a mix of half warm water and bleach into the pipe once every 4 to 6 months to prevent clogging of drain lines. But make sure the pipes are not blocked from any debris.
- To automatically turn off the A/C unit whenever the drain line clogs try to install an overflow shut off device.
The overflow drain pan is damaged – Water from clogged drain lines are collected in the drain pan that may get damaged over time resulting in leaks and water damage.
- Inspect for damage if there are leaks in the drain pan.
- Small holes can be path up using epoxy glue.
The air filter is dirty – once every 1 to 2 months the air filters should be replaced to prevent air from flowing into the evaporator’s coils. Air that gets into the coil may condense and cause damage to the unit.
- Water Heater
- Check for signs of leaks around the water heater. Sediments that settles at the bottom can cause rusting and cracking and eventually leaking. Have it inspected every five years by professionals. If the heater is more than ten years, consider buying a new one.
- Keep your water heater near a floor drain.
- Washing Machine and Dishwasher — Hoses must be replaced every three years. As much as possible choose a more durable, longer lasting and high-pressure, metal-mesh hoses than plastic hoses.
- Automatic Icemaker— Check the pipe or hose regularly for signs of damage. Care must be practice when pulling and pushing the refrigerator back in order not damage or kink the hose or pipe.
- Showers, Bathtubs and Sinks
- Check the tile grout and caulking for any signs of cracks and molds. Recaulk the area when necessary.
- Discoloration and swelling near showers and bathtubs also indicates that water leaks are present.
- Check the area near the bathroom sinks and under the kitchen every few months. Call a plumber if there are signs of leaks.
- Inspect appliance hoses. Prevent kinks which can damage the hose by providing enough room around it. Check for any signs of moisture, cracks, bulges or blisters. If there are damages, replace it as soon as possible.
- Shut off the main water supply – when going away for more than a week. This can prevent unexpected leaks and water damage.