Written by Blanche Evans
First, make sure potential damage isn’t caused by negligence. According to Don Vandervort’s Home Tips, most roof leaks are caused by worn out, broken or missing shingles and failing flashing around vents, skylights and chimneys.
Just because you don’t see a leak doesn’t mean you don’t have one. Vandervort advises looking for signs of moisture during the day when you’ll readily be able to see breaches and stains on the roof, under the eaves, and in the attic.
On the interior, proper home and appliance maintenance is the best prevention to water damage. Have your heating, cooling and water heater serviced regularly. Don’t leave an appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine running while you’re out of the house for a long period. Check occasionally under the sinks for leaks and see for yourself that the pipes are dry. Stay in the room while filling a bathtub; it fills faster than you think.
Get regular inspections of plumbing and drain systems. Most insurance companies consider water backups to be preventable with good maintainance. Whenever the plumber is at your home, ask him or her to check on all the plumbing. Turn off the water supply to outdoor spigots before the first freeze of winter. Make certain all drains are clear and operating.
Carefully monitor your water bill for unusual spikes. You could have an underground pipe leak that will cost you thousands of dollars to repair. If the leak occurs on your property, it’s your obligation to fix, not the city’s water supplier. And don’t expect the city to reduce your water bill because you unintentionally used too much water.
Get enough insurance
Don’t be satisfied with basic or minimum coverage insurance coverage. Read your policy carefully to make certain that your home has the coverage necessary for all kinds of situations, from a child flushing a toy down the toilet to a tree falling on your roof during a storm.