A small leak may seem like a minor inconvenience, but left unchecked, it could lead to bigger water damage issues. The average length of life disruption from water damage is 3-6 months.
Taking easy, proactive steps, however, can help prevent you from losing lots of time – and money – from significant water damage. Here are some ways to help keep the inside of your home dry.
Maintain interior hoses and pipes
- Check hoses at home every year, including those that lead to your washing machine, refrigerator, dishwasher and other appliances.
- Replace any cracked or leaky appliance hoses right away, or after seven years of use, even if no problems have occured.
- Replace rubber hoses with steel braided versions that last longer and are less likely to break.
Understand how to minimize leaks
- Know where your home’s main water shutoff valve is located to minimize water damage if a pipe bursts. It is typically within five feet of where water enters the home.
- Seal and caulk tubs and showers so they are watertight.
- Inspect devices such as washing machines and dishwashers for cracks, bulges or other signs of wear and corrosion.
Install water mitigation technology
- Although non-weather-related water damage is the second most common home insurance claim, only 17% of homeowners own a water sensor, according to a 2023 report from The Hanover. Getting water sensors can help identify an issue before it causes significant damage.
- Once you have the sensors, understand the key spots to place them in your home, such as under the sink, near your washing machine or under a dishwasher. Placing 3-5 sensors in each area is recommended.
- Contact a licensed plumber to help you install an automatic water shutoff device to help minimize water damage. These devices can detect unusual water flow activity, usually caused by a leak, and automatically turn off the water to your house.
Talk to your independent insurance agent to learn more about how to minimize interior water damage. Consider installing water mitigation devices. Hanover policyholders even get a policy discount if they install them.
Learn more about your discount
Insurance Information Institute
This Old House