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Tools to help protect your home from water damage

Cindy Blake

Tools to help protect your home from water damage blog image

Your home is most likely your biggest financial investment and your biggest asset. Are you doing everything you can to protect it?

We all have smoke detectors to protect us from fire and many homeowners have burglar and fire alarms to further protect their homes and assets. But are you aware that one of the most likely causes of damage to your home and personal property is water? Water damage is one of the most common losses incurred by homeowners today, behind only wind and hail. More than one in five homeowners insurance claims filed in 2023 related to water damage. In addition to being common, water-related claims are somewhat expensive, averaging $11,650 per claim. These costs can escalate very quickly if the loss occurs while you’re not home and flooding causes tens of thousands of dollars in damage and requires you to vacate your home for remediation and repairs. This is a major inconvenience and disruption to your daily life as repairs are made to get your house back to its original condition.

The good news is that there are things that you can do to prevent a large water loss before it occurs, damaging your property and disrupting your life. There are many tools on the market today that can prevent or minimize losses due to water. Let’s discuss two helpful devices aimed at preventing this very common cause of loss – leak detectors and automatic water shutoff devices.

Devices to prevent water damage to your home

Leak detectors are most commonly placed near a water source – faucets (under sinks); toilets; and appliances that use water, such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and water heaters. Leak detectors sense ’s the presence of moisture or water and alert the homeowner. This is very helpful, but if you’re not home, how will you turn off the water source to mitigate damage? And if you’re home, do you have the tools and strength to turn off the water supply? Many modern water leak detectors also include an automatic water shutoff device, which will automatically turn off the water to your home if a leak is detected.  

Automatic water shutoff devices are most often installed on the main water supply coming into a home. Not only do they shut off the water automatically if a leak is detected, they also monitor water pressure and significant changes in water use. When changes in water pressure or water flow are detected, they send an alert to the homeowner via an app on a smartphone or other smart device. This enables you to respond to alerts from anywhere.

Do you know where the manual water shutoff valve is in your home? Can you safely say you’ll always be home when a pipe bursts or leak occurs? If you answered “no” to either of these questions, you’d benefit from having an automatic water shutoff device installed in your home.

Signs you have a water leak in your home

Sometimes, plumbing problems aren’t obvious, and the damage occurs slowly over time. Here are a few things you can watch for if you have a leaky pipe in your home.

1. Check your water bill.

If you notice a substantial increase in your bill, this may be a sign of a leak.

2. Listen for the ticking of your water meter.

If your water meter is constantly ticking, this may be a good indicator that you have a leak.

3. Check for wet spots/watermarks.

Regularly inspect areas near your sinks, tubs, and toilets. If you see discoloring or wet spots, you may have a leak. Consider placing a small towel in your cabinets near the drainpipes. If you have a small leak, the towel will prevent it from soaking through and make it easier to notice.

While some homeowners are lucky enough to be home at the right time to notice a leak, many of these types of plumbing issues occur in the middle of the night or when you’re away from your home. Having a system in place to automatically shut off the water and prevent catastrophic damage can give you peace of mind knowing that a small leak won’t turn into a giant flood. Check with a licensed plumber to see what options are available and which system best meets your needs.






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