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Water Damage - Reduce Your Risk

Help prevent future leaks and water intrusion by regularly inspecting the following elements in and around your home to make sure they remain in good condition.


Supply Lines & Drains

•Watch for stains on walls or ceilings & a musty smell. •Pay attention to your water bill. A significant increase could indicate a leak. •Insulate pipes in attics, basements and exposed exterior pipes to avoid freezing. •During periods of freezing weather, open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warm air. •Disconnect garden hoses when freeze warnings are issued.


•Inspect the flushing mechanism inside the toilet every six months. •Ensure the connection to the valve is secure. •Replace the flapper or fill valve assembly if you notice intermittent or constant tank refilling when the toilet is not in use.

Shower Stall

•Inspect tile and grout every six months, paying attention to loose or cracked tiles and cracked or crumbling grout lines. Repair as needed. •Test the shower pan annually: 1. Block the floor drain. 2. Fill the shower stall with approximately one inch of water. 3. Use a pencil to mark the water line. 4. Leave the water standing in the shower pan for eight hours. 5. If the water level decreases, contact a plumbing professional.



•Inspect the hose every six months. Ensure the valve connection is secure and check for kinks. If kinks are present, replace the hose. •Leave a 3- to 4-inch space between the back of the refrigerator and the wall to prevent the hose from crimping. •Locate the water shut-off valve. Inspect the valve every six months to make sure the water supply will shut off & replace the valve if needed.

Washing Machine

•Turn supply valves off while the home is unoccupied or washing machine is not in use. •Leave a 3- to 4-inch gap between the back of the washing machine and the wall to avoid kinking the hose near the valve connection. •Check the hoses for cracks, kinks or blisters, which are most commonly found near the hose connection every six months. •Washing machine manufacturers recommend replacing washing machine hoses every five years and installing reinforced braided stainless steel hoses.

Water Heaters

•Annual inspections are recommended once the warranty has expired. •Flush the tank every six months to remove sediment.


•Check for leaks around your windows and doors, especially near corners. •Check for peeling paint as it can be a sign of water getting into the wood. •Inspect for discolorations in paint or caulking, swelling of the window or doorframe or surrounding materials. •Make sure that basement windows and doors have built-up barriers or flood shields. •The relative humidity in your home should be between 30% & 50%. •Condensation on windows, wet stains on walls and ceilings, and musty smells are signs that you may have too much humidity in your home. •Be sure to use bathroom exhaust fans following warm showers or baths. •When going on trips, turn the temperature up on the air conditioning, not off. The air conditioning system helps remove moisture from your home. •Inspect and adjust the spray pattern of the irrigation heads to minimize the water sprayed directly onto the house to avoid excessive water near the foundation. •To prolong roof life, have a professional roof inspection annually. Request a detailed inspection report that includes the condition of the flashing, roof covering, parapets and drainage system. Source: The Institute for Business and Home Safety - www.disastersafety.org