According to one large insurance carrier, water damage is a much more likely cause of homeowner claims than fires. Excluding claims for catastrophes, such as hurricanes, American homes are 10 times more likely to suffer from water damage than from fires.
Note that property maintenance is important in the event of a claim. In fact, you may not be covered for water damage that occurs over time due to inadequate maintenance. However, with good preventive maintenance you can easily eliminate such claims; below are several tips to help you reduce the risk of water damage:
Keep your roof in excellent repair. Regularly clean gutters and replace any cracked or missing shingles. Watch for ceiling stains and make immediate repairs if you notice water seepage or a damp ceiling.
Check washing machine hoses annually and replace them every five years.
Check hot water heater connections and perform regular maintenance on your hot water heater. It should be drained annually, but if you do it yourself, be careful because the water could scald you. If you do not know how to drain the heater correctly, hire a professional.
- Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when you can stay home for the entire wash cycle. This simple tip can prevent you from returning home to a flood.
- Check icemaker connections annually. Moving the refrigerator for cleaning may crimp the hose. Each time you move your refrigerator, check to make sure your icemaker line is intact.
- Inspect your air conditioner drain lines annually for clogs or cracking.
- Remove and replace deteriorating caulking around your tub and sinks.
Although water damage is one of the most frequent causes of claims, by taking time each year to maintain your home and appliances, you can dramatically reduce your chances of a being a water-damage statistic.