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Want to prevent water leaks in your home? Start with checking your home plumbing – it could be the best way to catch and identify potential problems before a pipe or fitting breaks.
When plumbing problems occur, they can do so with a suddenness and severity that causes upheaval in your normal routine. A quarterly inspection of your key plumbing fixtures can help you catch and remediate developing problems — before they become emergencies. Start with searching for plumbing leaks in the rooms in your home with the most water related fixtures, meaning the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room, then move on to appliances.
Check sink, tub, and shower faucets for leaks. Replace bad washers or cartridges to stop drips. Use a humidity sensor to check for moisture in walls containing water pipes. Run the water – if you have weak water pressure or an irregular spray pattern, it could be calcium buildup, so use a cleaner to remove it to prevent pressure backup in the pipes.
Next, examine the sink, tub, and shower drains for soap and hair clogs, and periodically disassemble drain traps to remove any collected hair and debris. You can snake out the branch drains at the same time, to clear any lower clogs before they become full blockages. P-trap fittings may need to be tightened, and the strainer basket should be replaced when it begins to leak or becomes corroded.
If your toilet continually runs, it could need a part replaced. If it rocks when you sit on it, the wax seal may have deteriorated. Caulking around sink backsplashes, showers, tubs and toilets can help prevent water from getting behind tile and damaging drywall or wood. Periodically check all caulk beads and seal any gaps you find with fresh caulk. Every few years, strip all caulk lines and replace them with new high-grade silicone based caulk.
Inspect your shutoff valves. Close each valve tightly and make sure they operate as intended. If they do not, shut off the water completely. They should be replaced. Look for secondary shutoff valves under the sink, behind toilets, and next to appliances like dishwashers, clothes washing machines, and refrigerators. Know where the main shutoff is and how to turn it off in an emergency.
Look at your water heater every six months for signs of water bubbling at seal points or rust. Leaks from water heaters can cause massive damage. They can slowly leak over a period of time, causing dampness or rot in floors or walls, or dump their contents at once, causing a small flood. Also check water lines leading to refrigerators and hoses leading to and from washers.
Following these tips can help you better protect your home against water-related damage. If you find a leak or water damage, call your homeowners insurance company right away.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.