Homeowner's Academy

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What To Do About Water Damage

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Jun 11, 2014

water-leak-home-300x199How To Spot and Handle a Leak in Your Home

Homeowners have a lot to worry about in the daily upkeep of their property. Water represents one of the most costly risks you’ll face, but staying proactive can help you mitigate major damage and protect your home and your belongings against ruin.

It only takes two inches of water to do damage.

People’s Trust invites you to take a few moments to learn what to look for and how to react in the event of a leak, flood or other water damage in your home.

Detecting Water Damage

Are you hearing a slight drip, noticing a faint moldy smell or just concerned that you may have a leak in your home? Here are some great tips to help detect if you have a leak in your home.

  • Check Your Bill: You can have a monthly check simply by looking at your water bill. Big increases in usage and cost can signal a leak that you may not be able to see.
  • Try a Sensor: There are many water detection sensors available that can help you find leaks in your appliances and other areas. These sensors generally beep if they detect a leak, showing you what to replace. The battery-operated models are easy enough for almost anyone to install and use.
  • Inspect Your Appliances: Burst hoses and pipes are the biggest causes of water leaks. Consider installing non-burst hoses and make regular checks of your appliances to keep any water damage or leaks to a minimum.
  • Look at That Roof: While appliances are a big cause of leaks, don’t forget about Mother Nature. Be sure to set aside time each month to look around your house for leaks and water damage. Don’t neglect your ceiling, attic and the roof. Slow leaks here can mean big repairs if you’re not careful.

Don’t Get Hosed

One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to change out the hoses on washing machines and dishwashers with reinforced, or non-burst, hoses. You’ll want to inspect your hoses regularly and replace when you find bulges, cracks and blisters. This is your best prevention to water damage repair.

Reinforced hoses are slightly more expensive, but they’ll save you a whole lot compared to a burst hose that leaks and floods your kitchen or laundry room.

When changing the hoses:

  • Unplug the machine. If you can’t, turn it off at the breaker.
  • Turn off the water.
  • Grab a bucket and towels in case you have some leakage from the hoses themselves.
  • Follow the instructions for your machine – found in your manual and on the hose packaging – and verify that the hoses are properly installed.
  • Double check that the connections are very tight and are dry.
  • Turn on the power and water.
  • Test your washer and monitor the results.

What To Do After a Leak or Flood

Sometimes leaks happen.

If you’ve found one in your home, whether it’s the kitchen sink or trickling down your walls, there are some major steps you need to take to address the issue. Do the following immediately to help limit the damage to your home and belongings.

  • Shut off the main water valve.
  • Turn off your utilities if the flooding is major.
  • Avoid electrical outlets and appliances in areas where floors and carpets are wet.
  • Use fans to circulate air in flooded rooms. Place fans on boxes or chairs and plug them in outlets that are not near the flooding.
  • Call your flood insurance provider to discuss making a claim.
  • Mop and towel up as much water as possible to limit the damage to your home.
  • Move as much of your belongings out of the room or your home as possible. This includes rugs.
  • Dry out wet carpets within 24 hours.
  • Don’t throw away your belongings before a claims adjuster comes and has a look.
  • If you can, take photos or video to document the damage to your home and your belongings.

Speak with your insurance provider about water damage repair and restoration efforts that you can take or need to do in order for a claim to be handled properly.

Hurricane Concerns

Flooding and water damage actually cause most of the damage to homes during hurricanes. This is because of the massive rains and storm surge that batter homes and can enter when wind or fallen trees cause property damage.

To help understand what dangers you face, view our breakdown of the dangers you face this year and get our Hurricane Preparedness Guide to make sure you’ve got everything covered.

The average flood claim is for more than $40,000, but you can protect your belongings by having flood insurance.

Flood insurance is not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy and must be purchased separately. Call People’s Trust Insurance today to discuss your flood insurance needs: 1-866-972-1547. There is a 30-day wait on most new policies, so act before it’s too late.

This Blog is sponsored by:
People’s Trust Insurance Company