If you have ever come home to water flooding a kitchen floor or a dripping ceiling that looks like it is ready to collapse, you know how devastating water damage can be. While severe storms, heavy rains, and flooding can cause significant damage, leaking pipes are the second highest claim, behind hurricanes, filed to homeowner’s insurance when it relates to water damage.
Many water leaks go unnoticed but can be prevented. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 13.7% of all water used in the home today can be attributed to plumbing leaks.
Having a plumbing leak can cause a continuous drip to go unnoticed until you see a water spot on the ceiling or see an immediate, gushing of water from a broken pipe. Water damage can begin behind a wall or beneath a concrete slab in the form of a mystery leak. The damage is usually far worse than what you first notice.
No matter what size the plumbing problem, thousands of gallons of water can be lost and damage your home. Mildew and mold can form quickly, compound the issue, and cause significant health issues. Water damage can affect the structural integrity of the house, weakening the foundation. Damp wood causes rot and invites termites and carpenter ants.
According to Claims Magazine (2000), the average claim from damage caused by a broken water pipe is $50,000 per insurance claim. Therefore, maintaining your plumbing should be a top concern when protecting your home from potential water damage.
6 things you can do with your plumbing to avoid water damage
Regularly check your plumbing system for leaks.
Check everything – dishwashers, ice makers, water heaters, toilets, washing machines, shower heads, faucets, and sinks. Look behind appliances and at the base, and investigate underneath sinks to make sure there are no signs of moisture. Verify the nozzles, hoses, and other attachments are all functioning properly. Replace any worn, cracked, or otherwise broken parts.
Turn off the water before going out of town.
It’s Murphy’s Law that if a leak is going to happen, it will happen when people go on vacation. Well, not exactly, but that is what often seems to be the case. Take an extra moment before you leave to shut off the water valve to your house. If you have someone house sitting or checking on your pets, you won’t need to do this, but make sure they know where the water shutoff valve is located for emergencies.
Perform maintenance on your water heater.
The average water heater holds a few hundred gallons of water that can cause a major leak if it were to go bust. So, every six months to annually you should drain it of sediments. This will help keep it operating efficiently and prevent problems with leaks.
Replace your pressure relief valve.
Unless you have a new home, chances are you could have water pressure issues that can be a warning that your pressure relief valve has gone bad. The valve protects your pipes from too much pressure building up in the line. This protection is very important against the increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can help prevent your pipes from bursting. Your plumber can perform an annual test to make sure it is working properly and replace it, if needed.
Keep an eye on your water bill.
Many times, a leak is discovered because a homeowner notices an unusual increase in their water bill. Don’t ignore it. Mystery leaks are some of the worst when it comes to water damage. Eventually, it’ll show itself but you want to minimize the water damage by finding and fixing it as soon as you suspect a problem.
Maintaining your plumbing is a lot easier and less costly than handling a problem after it causes major water damage. If you suspect a leak, High Priority Plumbing has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to help locate it and fix it. Call us at 770.860.8110 in Atlanta or 912.373.7707 in Savannah to schedule an appointment.