As plumbers, one of the things we always stress to customers is how much more affordable it is to hire us to assess and troubleshoot issues proactively versus having to hire a water damage company after a plumbing system has failed and flooded your home. The typical troubleshooting call for us is around $300, assuming we have to make a few minor repairs. The average cost of water damage services, meaning just the drying out phase (not including the expensive work of actually reconstructing the home is around $3,000.
Some water damage isn’t covered by insurance
Our plumbing technicians have seen a lot of different water damaged homes over the years. We’re called in after the fact and work in concert with the water damage contractor to fix the home. And while we aren’t party to the conversations with the insurance adjuster, we’ve been in homes when the homeowner got the bad news: their loss isn’t covered. This is a shock to homeowners because they’ve always paid their insurance on time and they assumed it was for this very purpose. No one actually ever reads through their policy so they’re caught completely off guard. How could this happen? Well, insurers have clauses in their policies that allow them to deny water damage claims if their adjuster determines that the event could have been prevented by regular maintenance.
What plumbing maintenance should I perform?
It is recommended that at least once a year you have a complete plumbing inspection performed. During this inspection, a plumber will have a checklist of dozens of systems, pipes, and fixtures they will thoroughly check. These inspections many purposes:
- regular maintenance prevents many plumbing issues from occurring
- maintenance prolongs the life of your plumbing systems by insuring they are always running at peak performance
- proactive maintenance is cheaper than the repairs necessary to fix the problems after they’ve happened
What systems are prone to failure?
While a plumbing inspection will surely identify any plumbing systems nearing failure, there are some things we notice that cause the great majority of problems that lead to water damage events. Here’s just some of those:
Toilets – specifically, the supply lines that service your toilet. Make sure you check these about every 3-4 months for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice cracks or folds in the line, replace them. It’s really cheap and easy to do!
Water heaters – water heaters are under a lot of pressure. Holding a lot of water, ejecting a lot of water out of their bellies, running on an incredibly hot temperatures. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they fail. Especially older models that have exceeded their useful lifespan (roughly 10-12 years).
Washing machines – perhaps no appliance is a bigger nightmare when it comes to water damage to homes than a washing machine. The three most common occurrences are the supply lines to the system coming loose, the drain hose doing the same, or the knob getting stuck in between cycles and continuing to let out water until it’s manually turned off.