February 12, 2023

4 Tips to Prevent Water Damage

Water damage accounts for a majority of insurance claims. Here are a few tips on how you can prevent damage to your belongings and your home:

Prevent water damage by cleaning debris from gutters and downspouts.

Make sure that your gutters are unclogged and in good working order so that the water from rain and snow can be diverted away from your home’s foundation. Check your home’s exterior regularly for any signs of cracks or other damage that could cause water to seep into your home.

Monitor your water usage.

Inspect your plumbing regularly and repair any leaks right away to avoid larger, more expensive issues. If you notice that your water bill is steadily increasing each month when you have not changed your normal routine, you may have an undetected water leak.  To prevent any water damage, you may also consider purchasing an electronic water leak detection system — you may qualify for a smart home discount on your insurance premium.

Prepare for winter.

Winter has a way of sneaking up on us, doesn’t it? Winter weather presents a number of challenges for homeowners to prevent water damage, such as avoiding frozen pipes and ice dams.

Ice Dams

Ice dams form when heat escapes through the attic, melting and ice and snow. The ice and snow then refreezes and prevents further melting from draining off the roof. This buildup then causes damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and personal property. To prevent ice dams, seal any gaps in the attic where heat may escape. Also, purchase a roof rake to remove snow from the roof during the winter months.

Frozen Pipes

When temperatures drop, water freezes — so do pipes. Take preventive measures to prevent frozen pipes and water damage by purchasing pipe insulation from your local hardware store. If you are leaving your home for a prolonged period of time during the winter months, never set the temperatures below 55 º F.

Protect your belongings from water damage.

Check if your belongings — especially valuable items —are located in areas prone to dampness or water damage. Consider storing these items in waterproof containers and off of basement or attic floors.

While you’re taking preventative measures to protect your belongings, consider updating your home inventory. Having an up-to-date list of all of your belongings, along with its respective value, will save you the time and stress of reporting your possessions to your insurance carrier in the event of an accident.

For more water prevention tips, visit the Insurance Information Institute.