Best Practices to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

Best Practices to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

The high price of ignoring home repairs may make you think twice before having that leaky pipe looked at. Did you know that broken pipes and appliance failures account for $120 of your home's short term and long term maintenance budget? Overloaded rain gutters can cost just $175 to repair at-most, while tree roots and property maintenance costs are an annual $236. Prevention costs come to $551 per year. Seem pricey? Compare that to the average cost of a water damage claim at $6,965. Savings on maintenance are worth the costs when you prevent water damage.

According to, simple home maintenance will reward you 12x's the Return-on-Investment. Here's how:

Best Practices to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

  • Repair or Replace Damaged Gutters

Gutters are often the main source of the problem because they lead to drainage issues - such as water pooling close to your house. Place cement splash pads under downspouts to carry water at least five feet away from your foundation to prevent water damage to your home. See our healthy home tip on best practices to prevent property water flood damage for more information.

  • Inspect HVAC and Appliances

Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, properly flowing, and unobstructed. If your home has several heating/cooling zones, or large garden tubs/steam showers, designated systems are commonly located in the attic to support these extra amenities. If the appliances are improperly installed or leaks are not detected in time, the risk of moisture build up or a line break greatly increases the chance of water damage in your home.

  • Going on Vacation? Take Precaution

Before you head off to vacation for an extended period of time, the best house flood protection is to shut the water off and drain water lines. Shut off the gas to the water heater (or your gas company can do this for you). Also, turn the temperature control to a vacation setting. Don't leave appliances (dishwasher, washing machine or dryer) running when you leave. Check to make sure the toilets aren't running.

Water Damage Prevention
If you own a property that is commonly left vacant (like a vacation home or a rental property), consider installing an electronic leak detection/automatic shut off system. Pipe and water line leaks, as well as plumbing fixture leaks - are the most common water damage claims that homeowners will likely experience.

Water damage accounts for nearly a quarter of all U.S. homeowner's insurance claims. The Insurance Information Institute also reports the average cost of a water damage claim as almost $7,000.

See our water damage FAQs for more information.

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