Remember to watch your Apliances
Most household floods and water damage are caused by plumbing or appliance failure, according to a study by a U.S. plumbing and drain service company.
The bill for these disasters can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
This study shows that only about 8 percent of residential flooding claims are the result of weather. Thirty percent are caused by appliance failure like a dishwasher leak and 62 percent by plumbing failure a hose or pipe bursting.
So, in short, the majority of water losses are preventable.
Fortunately, there are some easy steps homeowners can take to protect their homes - and wallets -- from water damage.
Dishwasher lines and hoses can spring a leak or blow out, often in the middle of the wash cycle, and flood your kitchen with gallons and gallons of water.
Prevent the problem: Never run the appliances if you're not going to be home, If a pipe bursts, you can minimize the damage by shutting off the water at the water supply line under the sink.
Prevention is key.
Rubber hoses commonly are used to supply water to a dishwasher, and they deteriorate over time. Replace the rubber hose with a much sturdier steel-braided hose found at most home improvement centers and hardware stores). Buying the hose and installing it yourself costs about $20.
- Washing machine
Malfunctioning dishwasher drains or water hoses result in some of the most common claims filed by homeowners, says Douglas Nadeau, a spokesman for State Farm. "Most homeowners leave washing machine water supply lines turned on so when a hose busts, water can discharge at up to 500 gallons per hour, causing major damage in a short period of time." Nadeau says.
Prevent the problem: Joseph King, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, suggests inspecting washing machine hoses often. "If they're original equipment and more than 5 years old, replace them with stronger steel-braided hoses," King says. These can be installed by a homeowner with a little guidance from a plumbing specialist at a home improvement or hardware store.
For added peace of mind, King suggests installing an automatic shut-off valve equipped with an alarm to alert you of any hose problems. This kind of valve costs about $100 but can save thousands of dollars if it detects a leak and prevents flooding.
- Leaky toilet
Any kinds of toilet leaks are signs of trouble. Cracks to the tank or toilet aren't common unless something hits the tank, such as a picture falling off the wall and hitting the "throne."
"More often than not, the supply line to the water tank develops a hole," Lazarus says.
Prevent the problem: it's better to replace a leaky toilet than to repair it. A new tank and bowl can run anywhere from $89 to $250 at a home improvement or hardware retailer. "If you hire a plumber to install the new tank or toilet, it may cost about $150 or more.
If the water supply line is the problem that's easy to repair. "Replace it with a metal-braided supply line because they tend to hold up better in the long run,