Water-related claims are a serious problem for all homeowners. With the recent increase in both frequency and severity of extreme weather events, water has become the main cause of claims for home insurance and hiring professional claims adjusters Florida. And it is one of the main threats to all homes. Therefore, it is really important to avoid water damage as much as possible.
Protecting your home from water damage may seem like a difficult task, even for the most experienced homeowner. And it is impossible to eliminate every risk. However, there are a few simple things that everyone can do to dramatically reduce their chances of sudden damage by water.
What are the easiest preventative measures that you can take to reduce the risk of water damage in your home?
1. Check your roof
At least twice a year, make a quick visual inspection of your roof to make sure that there is no sign of wear. Look for the cracks, curling or missing shingles. Any of them may be an early sign that your roof needs repair or replacement. If you are not sure, ask a specialist to conduct an examination.
2. Maintain the slope around your house
Proper grading is important for directing surface water away from your home and preventing pooling around your foundation walls. You must maintain a minimum of 5-degree slope from your house, from all sides. To test your slope, measure a straight line six feet away from the foundation wall. Then make sure that the ground in this place is at least three inches lower than the ground on the foundation wall.
3. Put the downspout extensions
Downspout extensions are a great way to redirect rainwater from your foundation walls. Attach the elbow at the bottom of the downspout, and then connect the extension. It should extend at a distance of not less than 6 feet from your external walls and point away from your house.
4. Drain the external faucets
Outdoor faucets are particularly vulnerable to freezing during the winter months. It is very important to make three simple steps before the cold weather comes:
- Remove and drain the garden hose
- Close the shut-off valve for each external tap (this is the valve inside your house that controls the flow of water to the outdoor faucet)
- Drain the tap. Open the tap on the outside of the house and allow the residual water to flow out of the pipe.
Following these three simple steps, you will prevent freezing or crack of external faucets during the winter months.
5. Use rain barrels
Think about how to use rain barrels to collect rainwater. And further, reduce the risk of groundwater from pooling and seeping into your basement. Rainwater is great for watering your garden. And can also be a great way to save a few dollars on your monthly water bills.
6. Find your main water valve
Knowing how and where to turn off the main water supply in your home is very important. In fact, it can be the difference between a minor or significant loss from water damage. If the pipe in your house is torn, the first thing you need to do is turn off the main water supply to your house. This will stop the flow of water and, hopefully, minimize the damage.
7. Check the hot water tank
Leaking in a water tank can lead to huge damage to your home. Especially if your tank is at the main level or in the finished basement. Regularly check your water tank if it is older than 10 years. If you do not know how old your tank is, you can find the production date on the certification plate. It is usually on the front of the device. If it’s time to replace your tank, consider upgrading to the system without a tank. They are much more effective and will save you money on your monthly bills. And you can also get an additional discount on your insurance policy.
8. Check the sump pump
If you have a sump pump, it should be checked regularly to ensure that the check valve is functioning. Make sure that the water is pumped out of the quarry and does not return back to your basement. An easy way to do this is to drop a bucket of water in the pit. This added water should run a check valve. And if your sump pump is working properly, it will pump out the water. If you think that there may be a problem with your sump pump, or if it is not convenient for you, consult a licensed plumber.
9. Inspect the hoses of your washing machine
If you are still using rubber hoses, we strongly recommend that you upgrade to the stainless steel ones. Because they can deteriorate faster, rubber hoses are the common cause of water damage in homes. In new homes with laundry facilities on the main or upper level, this can lead to significant damage and more expensive insurance claims. Make sure that you often check your hoses. If they show any signs of wear, such as cracks, corrosion or swelling, replace them immediately. Ideally with stainless steel braided hoses.
Protect your home while on vacation
If you stay away from your home for more than a few days in a row during the winter months, make sure that you turn off the main water supply and drain the pipes before you leave. It is also not bad to ask a friend or neighbor to regularly check your home while you are away. Just to make sure that your heating system is working correctly. In fact, most property insurance policies have recommendations that you must follow when leaving your home unattended for periods longer than a few days. To make sure that you are covered in case of flood damage or loss, consult your policy documents. Or contact your insurance broker before leaving your home unattended.
Property insurance policies do not provide coverage for each type of risk of water damage. It is important to analyze information about your policy.