Most of us don’t think much about all the water circulating into and out of our houses. There’s the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and large industrial sink in the cellar. The shower and toilet. The outdoor faucet for the garden hose. And it all drains down into the sewer out of the house.
That’s a lot of pipe! And much can go wrong. According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), plumbing systems and drains cost homeowners more time and money than any other source of water loss. They are the leading cause of interior water damage.
Over time, just a small leak can cause a huge amount of damage. Not to mention an undiscovered overflow or sewer/drain backup. So one of the keys to prevention is to notice changes in your home that could signal a leak.
Plumbing System Problems that Cause Leaks
You might see the monthly water bill increasing, but you know your use is about the same. That may mean a leak. Rust stains are also indicators of water. You might even see moisture on the walls or on the floor. If any of these crop up in your home, investigate the source of the moisture immediately. It could be a problem lurking somewhere in your plumbing system. This includes any wet soil around the foundation of the house.
Frozen pipes are also a disastrous source of water damage. Be sure to set the thermostat to at least 60 degrees during our cold Central New York winters. You can also wrap your pipes with insulation you can get at the local hardware store.
Call us if you have a loss because of a burst pipe. The problem you might have with insurance, though, is if the water damage is from a continuous or repeated seepage or leakage of water. If that seepage happens over weeks, months, or years, your policy may exclude damage to your building.
Drain Problems that Cause Backups
The IBHS says the average cost of a backup of a sewer is $4,000 per incident after the insurance deductible. And as we often say, you may have insurance to cover the loss, but the inconvenience of the sewer flowing into your house makes prevention your best bet.
One thing you can do to prevent sewer back up, especially if your system is connected to the municipal sewer system, or if you’re downhill or below street level, get a good plumber to install a backflow prevention assembly into your sewer system. Also, plant trees away from drain lines (if you know where the drain lines are!) and never pour grease down the drain.
The problem you might have with your insurance if your sewers back up is that some policies exclude it if it’s caused by accidental discharge or overflow which occurs off the residence premises. There are endorsements that we can add to your policy to fix this. Give us a call and we’ll tell you about it.
Water damage to your home is an unpleasant experience. The best defense is prevention. But also feel free to call us about adding coverage to your homeowners insurance.
And that goes for you if we don’t carry your homeowners insurance now. We’ll talk about coverages and quote your policy with our 22 insurance carriers. They’ll compete for your business and get you the right coverage for the best price.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.