One of the most common causes of water damage within your home is often preventable. After all, this form of damage isn’t always due to heavy rainstorms or melting snow. Rather, water damage often stems from a lack of home maintenance.

What’s worse, such damage is usually excluded from your homeowners coverage if the cause is connected to poor maintenance practices—leaving you to pay out-of-pocket for any home repair costs. With this mind, be sure to follow this guidance to keep water damage from wreaking havoc on your home (and your wallet).

Water Damage Prevention

  • Make sure you know the location of your home’s main water shut-off valve. This will allow you to respond quickly and efficiently in the event of a water disaster, such as a burst pipe.
  • Have appliances such as water heaters, showers, tubs, toilets, sinks, dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines reviewed on a routine basis by a qualified professional. Make repairs as needed.
  • Conduct your own inspections of the following items on a regular basis:
    • Check the caulking surrounding showers, tubs, sinks and toilet bases. Reseal any openings.
    • If your refrigerator includes an ice machine or water dispenser, analyze the hose between the wall and the refrigerator for signs of pinching or stress. Make adjustments as needed.
    • Ensure that your sump pump is in good condition and operating properly. Consult a qualified professional if you detect any problems.
    • Inspect supply lines, connections, hoses, fittings, pipes and valves for potential leaks, cracks or corrosion. Schedule repairs as soon as possible to avoid more severe damage.
  • Check the lifespan for each of your appliances. Make replacements when necessary.
  • Clean your roof and gutters regularly to prevent ice or debris buildup. In addition, monitor your roof for loose shingles or other damages and make repairs as needed.
  • Consider installing a water flow monitoring system or smart water sensors for further protection.

Choosing a Reputable Water Mitigation Company

It is important that you use a reputable water mitigation company to clean and dry the home if necessary. This process can limit the total damage, ensure there is no mold growth, and ultimately save you time, money and headaches. The water mitigation company will remove any standing water and then place fans and dehumidifiers in the home. They will create a drying map to show what areas are wet, how well they are drying, and when everything is completely dry.

With any loss it is important to get in contact with your insurance company right away. When it comes to water losses, your insurance company and claims adjusters have the contacts, training and tools to make this difficult experience as easy as possible. A little prevention can go a long way, but if you do have a water loss, remember act safely and quickly to stop the water and begin the clean up.

Review Your Coverage

Apart from these practices, review your homeowners insurance policy to ensure you will be adequately covered if sudden or accidental water damage occurs within your home. Keep in mind that some specific causes of water damage—such as flooding and sewer backups—are typically excluded from standard homeowners policies and often require additional, specialized coverage. For more home maintenance guidance and homeowners insurance solutions, contact us today.

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