The average cost of water damage has increased by over 117 percent over the past decade. Most residential buildings lose approximately 22 gallons of water daily because of dripping faucets and leaking toilets. The claims related to water damage are the main cause of rising home insurance costs. Simple, things, such as checking hoses and faucets, installing leak water alarms, and fixing drips quickly, can help prevent these incidents. Yet, most homeowners fail to do what’s needed to keep their homes safe.
Statistics show water is up to 10 times more likely to damage your home than fire. Everyday items, such as the washing machine and the shower, may leak and cause devastating damage. For this reason, it’s essential to check your household appliances regularly.
Check the Washing Machine
The average homeowner pays more than $6,000 on water damage incidents involving washing machines (although most water damage restoration providers goes through homeowner’s insurance). The best way to prevent these problems is to inspect the water supply line hoses at least twice a year. Install a lever-type valve and turn supply valves off when you’re not using them. Check the hoses for leaks, blisters, and cracks. Leave a four-inch gap between the wall and the back of the washing machine. The hoses should be replaced every five years to minimize the risk of water damage.
Inspect Your Toilets to Avoid Water Damage
Toilets may cause water damage too. A simple incident can cost you as much as $10,000. About 78 percent of incidents were caused by toilets that backed up and overflowed, toilet flanges, or faulty supply lines. To minimize the risk, check the flushing system and supply lines twice a year. If you notice constant tank refilling when the toilet is not being used, replace the flapper. Remain in the bathroom after flushing to make sure the fill valve has finished refilling the bowl.
Minimize Damage from Water Heaters
Another common cause of water damage is faulty water heaters. Over time, deposits build up inside these machines and corrode its internal components, such as the tank liner. When the bottom of a tank fails, water will continue to flow. Thus, it’s important to regularly check your water heater and replace it before its life expectancy is up. Most units have an expected life span between 5 and 10 years.
Protect Your Basement
Water damage often begins in the basement. This is where the drainage pipes, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, and backwater valves are located. Most incidents are caused by soil erosion, gutter damage, and faulty backwater valves.
It’s your responsibility as a homeowner to clean the gutters regularly, create a slope away from the house, and make sure your backwater valves are properly sealed. Cleaning the valves is much easier than drying out a flooded basement.
You also need to check the seals around the basement windows for cracks. Watch out for white rings at the bottom of your basement as they may indicate potential water damage. Homeowners living in rural area should regularly inspect the retention tank to make sure it’s not blocked by debris.
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