Water damage prevention – tips and tricks # 1
This winter has been one for the record books. Arctic freezes, seemingly endless amounts of snow, we are all looking forward to the approaching Springtime. But Springtime will present its own challenges for individuals and businesses alike.
The warmer weather will bring us some relief from this prolonged winter; however, it will also bring with it a potentially damaging side effect: flooding and water damage!
The rising temperatures will help to melt all of this snow that has been covering our country for months. But all of this melted snow will have to go somewhere.
As if this melting snow was not enough to worry about, Spring also brings with it buckets and buckets of rain. Where will all of this rain water go?
Drainage and sewer systems will disperse some of it, but what happens when they are full?
This is when flooding becomes a potential threat. Melted snow and rain can cause sewer systems and drainage ditches to fill and then overflow. This forces the water to find an alternate place to pool. Basements are an easy target as gravity draws the excess water like a magnet. If your property is downhill or does not have the proper gradient, you are at a much higher risk for flooding.
Is your property protected from the upcoming threat of flooding and water damage?
There are some things that you can do to help protect your property.
Our friends at Chubb Insurance were kind enough to provide us with some tips and tricks.
Chubb Tips –
Reducing the risk for water damage losses
Water damage now surpasses the risks of fire and theft as a leading source of claims. Recognizing warning signs inside and outside a property can help your customers avoid water-related damage to their homes. Here are some important tips that will help reduce the risk of incurring water damage losses:
- 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.
If you wish to share this information with your customers, click here to download a pdf version of these Chubb tips.
If you have any questions about your policy or things that you can do to help prevent water damage, please contact your Broker. We are here to Ensure Your Insured.