Water damage is one of the leading causes of homeowners’ losses in the U.S. The annual cost of water damage and removal is $13 billion, and the average home insurance claim for water damage is just over $10,000. 

 

There are many simple things your clients can do to prevent home water damage, bringing down the number of claims and overall losses. Passing along these tips can save them from lengthy repairs and having to make claims that could eventually impact their rates. 

 

Plumbing

  • Check for a plumbing problem if you experience an increase in the monthly water bill, rust stains, moisture in the walls or on floors, signs of wet soil erosion near the foundation of your home, or banging pipes. 
  • During winter months reduce the risk of frozen pipes by setting the thermostat to at least 60 degrees. Also let the faucets drip on nights when temps are below freezing or especially cold for the area. 
  • Insulate exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing during winter months.
  • Install a whole-house leak detection or shut-off system. 

 

Toilets

  • When you flush your toilet, if it looks like it might overflow, turn off the supply valve behind the toilet. 
  • Inspect your toilet’s components, such as the fill, supply, and flush valves, and the supply line, every six months.
  • If you notice the tank occasionally refilling on its own, replace the fill valve assembly.
  • Consider upgrading your toilets’ water supply lines to a sturdier, braided steel hose. A house leak detection system will also minimize damage if any components fail.

 

Water Heaters

  • Check the life expectancy and warranty for the water heater and replace accordingly. 75% of water heaters fail before their 12 years old. 
  • Increase life expectancy by performing proper maintenance, such as flushing sediments (especially if you have hard water) and inspecting the heater’s anode rod.
  • Inspect valves to ensure it’s operating properly and use ball valves in place of gate valves when possible. 
  • Shut off your water when traveling or going on vacation. If a water heater springs a leak while you’re away, you might not find it for days, leading to major water damage.

 

Sinks

  • Inspect the pipes beneath your sinks every six months. Verify that all connections are secure and there is no evidence of corrosion or moisture.
  • Look for kinks in the copper or plastic lines and inspect the shut-off valve to make sure it is operational and will turn off the water. 

 

Washing Machines

  • Don’t overload your machine.
  • Only use the washing machine while someone is home.
  • Check the hoses for cracks, kinks, and blisters at least every six months, and replace hoses every five years. Reinforced braided, stainless steel hoses are best.
  • If you’re leaving your house for an extended period of time, turn off the supply valve.

 

Dishwashers

  • Make sure you run your dishwasher at least once a week, which will prevent the lines from clogging.
  • Every six months, remove the kick plate at the bottom of the dishwasher while the unit is running. Take a look underneath with a flashlight. If you notice dampness or water dripping, you may have a defect like a leaking tub, bad pump seals, a defective solenoid valve or a loose hose connection.

 

Quaker Special Risk provides coverage for water damage for any home–high-value homes, rental properties, and vacation homes. QSR can even protect your home contents and high-value collections. Contact us for a quote.