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Blog category: Right at Home

Defend Your Home from Devastating Damage: 5 Ways to Prevent Leaks

3 min read

From heavy rainstorms to burst pipes and sewer backups, your home needs to withstand a multitude of ways water can intrude. There’s not much we can do to prevent extreme weather, but we can protect our homes from water damage by keeping them well maintained, sealed, and protected.

Read on to find 5 ways to keep your home dry and leak-free.

1. Protect the Exterior

Make it difficult for water to get into your home by maintaining the outside of your property. Clean gutters and downspouts at least twice a year to prevent blockages and install gutter guards to ensure rainwater flows away from the house. Inspect your roof and make repairs as soon as you notice even the smallest amount of wear and tear. Caulk and seal window frames to guard against water seepage.

2. Locate Your Main Water Valve

Knowing the location of your main valve, and how to turn it off, may be the most important defense you’ll have against leaks. As the name suggests, the main valve supplies water to all the other pipes in the house. In a plumbing emergency, if you can reach the valve and turn it off quickly, you’ll be able to minimize the extent of the damage. Also, it’s a good idea to shut off your main valve if your house will be uninhabited for any length of time.

3. Inspect and Maintain Appliances

Inside your home, the biggest culprits of water damage are two of your biggest appliances — the fridge and washing machine. Check and maintain your appliances regularly and fix small issues before they turn into big problems. Pay particular attention to the condition of the appliance hose. Hoses can get dry and brittle after a few years and when that happens, they tend to tear, which can result in leakage. Plan to replace the hoses at least every five years.

4. Install Water Detection Devices

A smart water-leak sensor can reduce damage by alerting you to a plumbing problem, whether you’re at home or away. Some devices can even shut off the water to your house preventing a small leak from getting more serious. However, the device’s biggest benefit is that it can detect when moisture is present from a slow leak before you would become aware of it. By installing sensors near your dishwasher, washing machine, water heater, and toilets, you can save yourself the big headache of extensive water damage and the potential for mold growth.

5. Check Water Pressure

Getting your home’s water pressure just right is tricky. You want to have enough pressure or pounds per square inch (psi) of water coming out your taps to fill a bathtub or bucket reasonably quickly. However, if the pressure’s too strong it could put stress on your pipes and fixtures, which can result in water leaks. If you suspect your pressure’s too high or too low, you can test it easily and accurately by using a pressure gauge, which can be found at your local hardware store. To get a baseline reading, connect it to a hose tap and turn off all other water-using appliances. Typically, you want domestic plumbing to give you between 30 and 80 psi.

A key component of water-damage protection is having the right amount of insurance coverage. A basic policy protects you against burst pipes. Some policies may cover sewer and drain backups as well. Typically flood-water coverage must be purchased separately through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Get in touch with your Wawanesa agent to make sure your homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy has the coverage you would need to repair or replace items destroyed by water damage in your home.

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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.

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