Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Preventing Water Damage and Leak$

To diminish the possibility of water damage to your home

1)  Check for leaks by periodically inspecting the following areas around:
  • refrigerator (ice maker malfunctions)
  • dishwasher
  • water heaters
  • sinks (watch for a drip, drip, drip)
  • toilets
  • ceilings (roof leaks)
  • yard (water lines)
Check for any discolored flooring or spots on the ceiling which may indicate a slow leak.  Soft spots , warped flooring or warm spots may indicate a slow or intermittent leak that has damaged the underlying flooring.

2)  Pay attention to your water bill.  Even a small drip can consume a gallon of water an hour!

3)  Use steel braided hoses for the washing machine which reduces the chance of them breaking as they age.  These cost more initially but if you've ever had one break you know how much you'll save in the long run.  Think of it as insurance!

4)  If you have pipes that are exposed to the outside walls and live in an area where temps drop below freezing-insulate your pipes to prevent a problem!

5)  Vacationing?  Turn off the water supply to the washing machine, ice maker, toilets, sinks in the event of unexpected issues.  Have a friend or family member regularly check your home...just in case!

If you have a leak:

We once had a ceiling leak that started as a small brown spot the size of a silver dollar.  We called the DAY we notice it.  By the time the adjuster came it covered about half the ceiling.  Before they repaired it water was streaming in through the damaged area and eventually ruined 4 rooms.  Photo documentation saves us a lot of hassle with our insurance agent.

1)  Turn off the water source if you can safely do so (remember water conducts electricity)

2)  Call your insurance agent as soon as possible.  Call back if you don't get prompt service.

3) Don't be afraid to fight for what you need.  We needed a tarp and it wasn't covered!  We argued that the expense to the damaged roof would more than exceed the cost of the tarp and our agent agreed.  Luckily for us (and them) they tarped us 2 days before it rained 6 inches in a 2 hour period!    My bathroom would have ended up in my basement with that amount of rain!

4)  Don't do any major clean up, start repairs or throw items away until you've met with the adjustor and they  have inspected the property.

5)  Take photographs

6)  Relax:  Stuff can be repaired or replaced!

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