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Basic Water Damage Prevention Tips For Your Home

Martin Insurance, a Lancaster insurance agency, offers water damage prevention tips

Did you know that millions of dollars are paid out each year in water loss claims? In the insurance industry, water damage has become an issue more discussed than fire. It’s important to remember that not all water damage is covered under your homeowners’ policy.

So . . . who is vulnerable to water damage? Well, just about every homeowner. It’s not just a problem affecting people living near the coast or in floodplains. Water damage could be anything from faulty appliances or a leaking roof, to sewage backup or sump pump failure. And be aware. . .  It’s important to know that there are limits to your water damage coverage as spelled out in your homeowners’ policy (and we can help you understand what those are!)

But back to the topic at hand. . . how can you avoid catastrophic water damage? Follow these five water damage prevention tips.

Sump pumps:

Check your sump pump monthly. Do this by pouring water into the hole until the pump is activated. Remember, do this monthly. Also, check with your plumber about getting a battery backup, or even a second sump pump.

Washing machines:

After about 5-10 years the discharge hose on your washing machine can become brittle & cracked over time due to age and vibration, so keep an eye on it. The hot & cold water lines feeding your washing machine should be replaced every 5 years because of the same problem.

All appliances with water feed lines:

You should annually inspect the water hose lines feeding your toilets, dishwashers, and sinks. Consider replacing the water feed lines with the new rubber hose braided lines, which are a much better hose to use to prevent fatigue in your water lines.

Refrigerator icemaker lines:

Inspect your refrigerator water lines annually. These lines are generally plastic and plastic lines can corrode and become brittle and break. Some home safety inspectors recommend replacing these lines with flexible copper coil line. Also, consider having a shutoff valve installed on that line in case t leak is discovered during your annual inspection. It is our recommendation that this, along with all the other repair and replacement of water lines we’ve covered in this article, should be done by a licensed plumber.

Downspouts outside the home:

These should always be maintained and good at diverting water at least 5-6 feet away from the home’s foundation. And although it is a “gray area” as to whether an insurance company would cover damage caused by water seeping into your basement from a heavy rain, it’s always nice to take preventative measures to ensure it doesn’t happen in the first place.