Would you rather get a dental filling or a root canal? If you’ve ever had a root canal, you already know a filling is always the better option! They're much less expensive and less painful so it pays to take care of a cavity before it requires more serious action. The same is true for your home.
Several years ago, a gentleman I know was traveling over the holidays and came home to discover his house flooded to the tune of more than $40,000 in property damage. While he was away, his water heater had failed and water flowed unabated into his home for two weeks. Yikes! Not only were the repair bills devastating, the water bill from the city was no treat either. Talk about adding insult to injury!
Although you can never completely mitigate every water risk to your home and property, there are steps you can take to greatly reduce it. Here are five ways you can act now that will help you avoid a crisis and much larger expense down the road.
- If the water intake hoses on your washing machine, refrigerator, and dishwasher are rubber, they’re vulnerable to developing bulges and bursting over time. To prevent a flood, replace them all with braided stainless steel hoses. It’s an inexpensive one-time fix and will be more likely to prevent them from failing in the future.
- In wintertime one of the dangers of cold weather is burst water pipes. To prevent your pipes from freezing, insulate them with pipe insulation foam pieces that are easy to install. Also, when you travel, set your home’s thermostat temperature at 55 degrees or warmer to keep pipes warm.
- If you’ve ever had a house fire you know that it’s not just smoke and fire itself that destroys your home; water damage can add to the destruction and cost. To help reduce the risk of fire, keep up with the batteries in your smoke detectors by changing them every year on your birthday. For even better protection, install a hard-wired smoke detector system.
- Keep an eye on your hot water. If you notice it’s starting to have particles in it or look rusty, that’s a sign that your water heater may be on its way out. Water heaters typically last ten to thirteen years, so make a note of how old yours is and replace it before it fails.
- When it comes to your water, shutting it off at the source when you travel is the safest course of action. However, if you have pets and can’t shut down the water, arrange for someone to visit your home daily to make sure all is well.