If homeowners knew the risks for water damage they were taking when not seasonally inspecting their homes, they would be shocked.
A few statistics that might change your mind relative to home inspections:
- According to Water Damage Defense, 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work each day.
- 98% of basements in the US will experience some type of water damage during their lifespan.
- 80% of homeowners overlook the threat of water leaks while on vacation.
- 5 Billion $ is the annual cost to insurance companies from water damage and mold in the US.
- The average cost of a home water damage insurance claim is $6295.
While cleaning up the mess and fixing the water leak is hard, prevention is relatively easy if you take the time to do seasonal inspections.
7 steps for protecting your castle from water damage
- Regular Inspections: When seasons change, take the time to inspect all exposed pipes in your basement or crawl space. Especially look under each sink and toilet and examine valves and pipes and look for evidence of a leak.
- Water Main 411: Can you locate your main water valve to shut off water to the house quickly? This single tip can stop Niagara Falls from flooding your home. It’s often found in the basement or outside, near the water meter and will have a wheel-shaped handle or lever for easy off/on.
- Water Pressure: If it’s too high can result in burst pipes. The max pressure for homes is 80 lbs per square inch (psi) with a safe range of 55-75 psi.
- Water Heater Annual Maintenance: Drain your water heater every year to flush sediment out the system. 75% of water heaters fail before they are 12 years old.
- Vacation Tip: Shut off the water supply to your washer when on vacation. Or put a drip pan underneath to look for any leaks while gone to spot a potential problem when you return. The average age of failed washing machine supply hoses is 8.7 years.
- Monitor Your Water Bill: Examining your water bill each month or quarter will show if there is a big spike in usage or cost which may be a potential leak. FYI- a poorly sealed flapper in your toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day by trickling water from the tank into the bowl. If your toilet flushes on its own every few minutes, it may need a simple flapper replacement which will save water and money.
- Clean Your Gutters: Clogged gutters result in rainwater back-up which can cause extra saturation or standing water around your homes foundation. This can rot the fascia boards which are next to the gutters, allowing for potential leak.
Wet carpets, musty odors, allergy-triggering mold, and treasured furnishings lost are worth the time taken to schedule water maintenance checks. Get into the routine whenever the seasons change, spring forward and fall back and inspect your home for potential water problems to prevent costly repairs which will cost you more in time not being able to utilize the space while repairs occur, as well as financially.