Is Your Home Watertight? 9 Tips for Preventing Water Damage

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Boise River Community, Buying Boise Homes, Home Knowledge, New Home Maintenance

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” –Lao Tzu

As nature shows us—in the dramatically formed glacial valleys and deeply carved canyons throughout the world—water carries with it life, beauty, and renewal; but also a strength more powerful than stone.

And anyone who has experienced losses to home or property due to water damage will agree: H20 is a force to be reckoned with, due to the severity of and the expenses related to such a loss.

In addition to the water damage itself, even a tiny leak means water bill spikes (a single faucet that drips once per minute wastes up to 34 gallons per year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey), and potential for dangerous mold growth.

And this is a common problem. According to some estimates, 98 percent of basements in the U.S. will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime. (See infographic below.)

The Insurance Information Institute also cites “water damage and freezing” as the third most common cause of homeowner loss/property damage in the U.S. during a five-year period from 2009 to 2013, and claims related to “water damage and freezing” were the second most frequent to be filed with insurance companies.

Unfortunately, however, many standard home insurance (also called fire insurance) policies don’t provide coverage for damage caused by water-related events (flooding, overflowing sewer lines, etc.).* While the Treasure Valley rarely experiences widespread flooding, even localized water losses (pipe bursts, leaks, etc.) are often not covered. And flood insurance policies are often very expensive. So what’s a homeowner to do?

For starters, many types of water damage are preventable. We recommend taking the following steps to protect your home and property.

Watertight to-dos:

  • Keep an eye on your water bill. Sudden increases may indicate a water leak.
  • Seal foundation cracks.
  • Check coal shoots (in older homes) for standing water.
  • Caulk around tubs, sinks, and linoleum on bathroom and kitchen floors.
  • Put a pan under your hot water heater and outlet pipe.
  • Consider purchasing a water alarm, which is designed to detect leaks before costly water damage occurs.
  • Check the water supply line to your refrigerator for leaks. (This is a very common cause of water damage, as these leaks often go undetected for days, weeks, or longer.)
  • Consider turning off your water before going on vacation.
  • Check under your sinks regularly, running water for several minutes into each drain, then feeling the pipes beneath sinks for leaks.

*Note: We recommend contacting your licensed insurance agent to see a standard exclusion, such as flooding and infiltration due to rain/weather or even overflowing sewer lines.

Image courtesy of waterdamagedefense.com

Sincerely,

Your local Boise real estate resources

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