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Prevent water damage

Wednesday 15 January 2014

In these times of temperature variations, here are some tips from our insurers to prevent water damage to your property :

  • Inspect plumbing lines/systems

Check for plumbing fixtures located on exterior walls of the home. These fixtures are prone to freezing and may burst during cold winter months. Make sure there are water pans under washing machines, hot water heaters, air conditioning units and water-bearing appliances located in or above finished living areas. Check under sinks for leaks and signs of water.

  • Check the basement and mechanical equipment

Hot water heaters have a 10 to 13-year life span. Consider replacement after 10 years, before a problem starts. A newer unit will likely be more energy efficient as well. Sump pumps need regular maintenance and testing to ensure optimal operation. Test the sump pump by pouring about 19 liters of water in the sump hole. Also, add a battery backup to ensure operation during a loss of power. Typically, that is when the unit is needed the most. Look for water stains on basement walls and floors, and identify the source of the leak if stains are found. Click here for tips on how to reduce basement flooding from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

  • Stay on top of interior maintenance

Inspect the caulking around bathroom fixtures and grout in tile. Missing or loose caulk or grout can lead to water seepage. Look for water stains on ceilings, walls and floors. Also look for cracks in drywall, especially around doors and windows. Look for deterioration of sills and molding around windows and doors.

  • Look for points of exterior water intrusion

Visually inspect the roof for worn or curled shingles. Gutters/downspouts should be clear of debris. Water from downspouts should flow away from the foundation. Look for dry or cracked exterior caulking around windows and doors.

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