3 Ways to Avoid Devastating Water Damage

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The human race (and all other life forms, for that matter) needs water to survive. Our bodies are 75% water. The planet Earth has far more water than land — in fact, we’ve explored more of outer space than we have our own watery depths. While these fun facts regarding water are amusing, one thing is not amusing: home water damage. While we can’t live without water, if our homes incur leaks or floods, the home water damage can be devastating.

In fact, home water damage is the most common property insurance claim that homeowner’s file each year. There are so many ways that home water damage can slowly destroy a home. When water gets into the structure of the home, it rots the timbers that the hold the home together. When water gets into the cracks and crevices of the home, it creates a hotbed for mold growth; mold removal is not only expensive, the presence of mold is dangerous for the health of the people living in the home. If you own your home, it is important to take the following steps to avoid home water damage:

  1. Stay on top of water leak repairs

    Even a slow, mild leak can eventually compromise the integrity of a home and lead to thousands of dollars in interior water damage and mold cleanup. We know that you have a lot going on and gathering the time and resources to fix a tiny, seemingly unimposing leak feels like more trouble than it is worth. However, the damage a leak can cause is not tiny at all!

    On top of this, property insurance is meant for sudden and unexpected property damage. If you have a slow leak that eventually led to thousands of dollars in home water damage because you ignored it, you might have trouble getting your insurance to cover the bill.

  2. Keep an eye on your water bill.

    The fact is, most of the pipes that your water travels through in and out of your home are not easily visible. You could have a leak you have no knowledge of until the ceiling caves in (this is more common than you’d care to know). The best way to identify a water leak right away is to watch the water usage on your bill. If there is suddenly a spike in your water usage, and you don’t know of any explanation for it, it’s a good idea to look in the crawl space of your home and make sure none of your pipe are leaking.

    While we’re on the subject, sometimes a water leak can cause your water bill to spike by hundreds of dollars in a single month. If this happens to you, we recommend that you first identify the source of the leak and have it fixed. Next, contact your water company and request a courtesy credit for the excessive amount, since you rectified the issue. Many times, the water company will be willing to work with you if you are in good standing with them otherwise.
  3. Winterize your pipes.

    Most often, water damage occurs when pipes freeze and bust. Water expands when it freezes. Since your pipes aren’t flexible, when the water expands, it causes the pipes to crack. You can avoid this expensive and devastating situation altogether by taking precautions before the temperatures dip below freezing:

    1. Wrap any exterior pipes with insulation found at a hardware store. If the cold temperatures take you by surprise, using old blankets will suffice.
    2. Any time the temperatures dip below freezing, make sure to leave your faucets on a slow drip. Moving water is far less likely to freeze than sitting water.
    3. Open your sink cabinets on cold nights, so warm air circulation can reach them. It’s not a bad idea to run a space heater facing your pipes if the temps are extra cold.
    4. If you are going to be out of town during a winter storm, have someone swing by and check on your home on a daily basis. If a pipe busts and you don’t catch it for several days, the water damage can be devastating.

Do you have any other water damage prevention tips? Please share below!

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