Water Damage Prevention

Prevent Water Damage

This Article From the Home Resource Center on the Web

Water-related damage causes millions of dollars of losses each year. A sampling of 63 percent of California home insurers found that water-related losses totaled $1.7 billion between 1997 and 2001. Based on the survey data, the average cost of a water claim in 2001 was $4,730, up from $2,537 in 1997, nearly doubling the average cost of a water claim in four years. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.

Why Plumbing Maintenance is Important

Homeowner’s insurance generally covers household water damage if the damage is sudden and accidental, such as damage caused by burst pipes. It does not cover damage of the sort covered by flood insurance, i.e., rising water from outside; or damage caused over time by lack of maintenance.
A water damage claim can be a red flag to insurers as well as to future homebuyers, signaling a likelihood of repeat water claims. It is better to maintain a home for water issues than face the risks of increased insurance costs and reduced home marketability.

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Identifying Water Problems

Look at your water bill. By comparing monthly usage figures, you may get tipped off to a small leak before it becomes a big problem. Major, unexplained fluctuations in your water bill are often a sign of water leaks.

Use a water pressure gauge to determine whether your household water pressure is set too high. The ideal household water pressure is 60-80 pounds per square inch (psi), but many homes are set at 100 or higher. Attach the gauge to an outdoor faucet and turn the water on full to determine water pressure.

Inspect pipes and fittings each year. Just as you change the batteries in your smoke detector each year, you should take a few minutes to inspect under sinks and around washing machines, lavatories, ice makers and water softeners.

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