Water Damage Prevention Checklist
Some of the largest and most frequent claims that occur on Home Insurance policies revolve around water claims. These stem from areas such as roof leaks, washing machines, plumbing supply and drains, toilets, water heaters and sinks. This article will hopefully help you in preventing these type claims by completing routine maintenance of each of these areas.
1. Roof Leaks
The weather in Florida can play havoc on your roof between the heat, rain, hail and wind storms that we encounter throughout the year. Because of this, shingles start to breakdown which results in potential roof leaks. It is a good idea to get on your roof several times a year and make sure that all your vents and flashings are properly sealed. More times than not, these areas are where the water starts to seep into you roof. It is also a great idea while you are up on the roof to make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris.
2. Washing Machines
Anything that is connected to a water source should not be left alone. Most serious Homeowners Insurance claims occur when someone turns on a washer or dishwasher and then leaves the house. If a leak occurs and you are gone, the damage could wind up being quite extensive. Washing machine hoses should be checked each year for any cracks, kinks or blisters. I highly recommend you changing out your hoses to reinforced braided stainless steel.
3. Plumbing Supply and Drains
A good indication as to if you are having any water leak is if your water bill is high or if your have a pump that constantly runs. If this is the case you most likely have water running somewhere. Sometimes when the weather drops below freezing, your pipes may develop a crack due to the water expanding in the pipes. Make sure these exposes pipes are properly protected under these circumstances.
Toilet water claims are probably the leading cause for Home Insurance claims. The parts inside your toilet tank definitely have a life expectancy. If you start noticing that the toilet acts up in any way, it is a good idea to start replacing the parts inside your tank. A lot of times, the flapper or fill value will just wear out causing the toilet to continue running. It is also recommended to change the supply lines with reinforced braided stainless steel hoses.
5. Water Heaters
It is recommended to have you hot water heater evaluated by a licensed plumber about every 2 years. These units periodically need to be drained which very few people know how to do. They also have a rod inside them that will eventually corrode and leave the tank vulnerable to damage.
If the pipes underneath your sink are metal, eventually they will corrode so you will need to do a visual inspection to make sure there is no corrosion. When this starts to take place, a plumber will need to replace these pipes with PVC.
If you have never reviewed where your water shut off valves are, it is a good time to learn as when a leak occurs the last thing you want to do is try to figure out where your main water source is. Most sinks and toilets have their own water shut off valve and then you will have the main valve outside where the water comes into your home. Know where these are so you can minimize potential damage.
Hope this water damage prevention checklist was helpful and saves you from having to pay your deductible on your Homeowners Insurance policy.
Southern Insurance Group
352-243-9000 Ext 1011