Nor’easters, floods, and burst pipes are likely what come to mind when you think of water loss and damage to your home. However, there are a number of other factors that can result in costly insurance claims. Even on the most beautiful, summer day, a leaky faucet or overflowing dishwasher can wreak havoc on your home and cause water loss invisible to the eye. According to the Environmental Protection Association, American households have an average of 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, with 10% of them losing at least 90 gallons per day. To help you stay ahead of any potential damage and limit your risk, our team at Patrons Oxford has put together a home guide to water loss prevention. 

Common Risk Factors

Aside from weather-related water damage and loss, here are a few culprits that could be detrimental to your home:

  • Water heater — Without regular maintenance and repair, rusting can lead to deterioration, ultimately causing leaks. 
  • Dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators — Each of these appliances have one or more hoses that can come loose or leak. If this happens, you can experience a slow leak that you won’t notice until too much damage has already been done. 
  • Leaky faucets — While a leaking faucet may not cause major damage, it can often go unnoticed for long periods of time leading to significant water loss. 

How to prevent water loss and damage

The best way to protect your home is to know exactly where your risks lie and take the necessary precautions to prevent them. In fact, water loss is considered one of the most preventable large loss peril according to LexisNexis. Here are a few low-cost ways to do just that:

  • Know where your main water shutoffs are located and install water shutoff valves on water lines under sinks and toilets and water lines leading to outside faucets.
  • Repair small leaks around water heaters, refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances before they become a problem.
  • Understand and follow the recommended maintenance procedures for your appliances, such as periodically draining the water heater. If needed, have a professional come to inspect your appliances thoroughly.
  • Check dishwasher and washing machine hoses for signs of deterioration and replace hoses that show any evidence of cracking.
  • Before you leave home for an extended period of time, remember to shut off the water valve to any strong flowing sources.
  • Run plenty of water when using your garbage disposal so it won’t clog and cause a leak or a crack.
  • When a problem does occur, hire a reputable contractor who will appropriately repair the damage.
  • Never leave the room after you’ve turned a water source, especially a bathtub or sink.

In addition to these low-cost preventative measures, new technology also offers a number of ways to identify and prevent water loss throughout your home. Thanks to advances in smart home technology, automatic shut-offs and alarms can alert you to a leak before it becomes a problem. Data has shown a strong correlation between households that have installed leak detection and shutoff devices and reduced water leak claim frequency and severity. While technology such as this is being developed more and more every day, studies have shown that they seem to be with the investment.

We hope this guide to water loss prevention helps keep your home insurance claims at bay. Visit our website to find an agent near you who is ready to answer all your insurance questions.