When homeowners think about filing an insurance claim for damage, they usually think it will be related to fire damage or theft. While fire and theft used to account for the majority of homeowners insurance claims, water damage has now surpassed these claims in numbers and is one of the leading sources of claims filed by homeowners. To protect your home from the threat of water damage:
- Give your plumbing and sewer lines a checkup. Make sure that your plumbing lines located on the exterior of your home are in working condition, since these fixtures are prone to freezing and bursting during the chilly winter months of the year.
- Inspect your basement and the mechanical equipment located down there. Generally speaking, hot water heaters will last anywhere from 10 to 13 years. To ensure that it doesn’t start leaking and causing problems, replace your water heater once you’ve had it for 10 years to prevent problems before they start.
- Don’t put off doing interior maintenance. Your bathroom is a prime source for leaks, so make sure that you are inspecting the bathroom fixtures, caulking, grout, and water stains on the ceilings and walls.
- Check your home’s exterior for any points where water could start to seep into your home. Clear your gutters of debris, look for any damaged shingles on your roof, and make sure that any downspouts release water away from the foundation of your home.
- Adding sump pumps and backwater valves in your basement will greatly decrease the chances of sewer backup. They will often be most needed when the water table is at its highest during the spring melt. Not only will they mitigate your risk of water damage to your home, but many insurance companies also offer discounts to your homeowners or condo insurance if you have them. Make sure to tell your insurance broker if you’ve taken these extra precautions in your home.
However, even by diligently protecting your home from water damage, you will probably run into a problem with a leak or spill at some point in your career as a homeowner. Ease your worries and the threat of water damage by purchasing a homeowners insurance policy that covers this type of damage.