Simple Home Maintenance Can Help You Avoid Water Damage, Travelers Says

September 21, 2010

Last week, the Insurance Journal reported on some interesting survey results from Travelers insurance. It seems that even though most homeowners are more afraid of fire damage, most homes – even if they’re not in a coastal or riverfront location – are ten times more likely to be damaged by water.

While no one is suggesting that homeowners should be able to control the weather, there are a few home maintenance tasks that can help decrease the likelihood of serious water damage. After analyzing data from a large number of claims filed by Travelers policyholders in North Carolina, the insurer’s claim and risk management professionals have created a list of easy steps homeowners can take to help prevent many non-weather-related water damage causes. Here’s a list of the top four:

Leaks from washing machine hoses: Washing machine hoses should be inspected annually and replaced every five years – or immediately, if there are any signs of cracking or bulging.

Leaky plumbing around water heaters: Plumbing should be inspected annually and repaired if there are any signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, water heaters should be installed in an area with floor drains to minimize damage if leaks should occur.

Leaks from refrigerator ice machines: Ice maker connections, usually located behind the refrigerator, should be inspected annually and hoses replaced if they appear cracked or corroded.

Clogged drain lines on air conditioning units: Air conditioning drain lines should be checked yearly.

Ron Stephens, Regional Vice President for Travelers reiterates, “When considering annual household cleaning projects, it’s a great time to inspect and perform maintenance on household systems and appliances. Checking washing machine hoses, ice maker connections and the plumbing around water heaters are a few simple actions you can take to prevent both damages and a lot of headaches.”