Most homeowners’ policies cover damage from accidents and failures, such as damage from a burst pipe. What is not usually covered is damage caused by an overall lack of ongoing maintenance in your home. Most water damage starts with a simple leak or drip and can be prevented, if you know what to look for! Routine checks may help catch problems before they happen. Taking the time to regularly complete this list of helpful tips around your home can potentially save you a lot of money, and headaches.
- Clean up mold, rot and mildew before it becomes a hazard.
- Check that the dishwasher hose is tight, and examine under the dishwasher after use for any sign of leaks.
- If your refrigerator has an icemaker, check the water line. Wet spots on the floor may indicate a line about to burst.
- Fix sink blockages promptly when they occur, check under the sink for signs of leaks.
- Discoloration or soft areas near showers or bathtubs may be your first indication of a leak. If you find cracks or mold around joints, clean and replace the caulking.
- Using too much toilet paper can clog toilets and lead to leakage. In addition, some chlorine tablet cleaners may corrode internal components, leading to a leak.
- Inspect washing machine hoses for wetness around hose ends and for signs of bulging, cracking or fraying. Replace the hose if a problem is found or every three years.
- Most water heaters last 10 to 15 years. Wet spots on the floor or a rusty tank may signal a problem.
- To check for hidden leaks, turn off all faucets and water using appliances, and do not flush toilets for one hour. Record your water meter reading. If the flow indicator is spinning or the meter reading changes in that hour while no water was being used, a leak probably exists.
- Know where your main shut off valve is and check it regularly to make sure it’s operational.
Prevention is key, keep this list of tips on hand and set regular check-ups for your home once a quarter. For more helpful tips or to find a local Handyman Matters near you, check out our website at HandymanMatters.com.