The 4 Areas of Your Home Most Susceptible to Water Damage
Smart Leak Sensor Kit, Water Damage Prevention, Home Maintenance, Home Tips
Published: May 7, 2021
Even if you haven't experienced water damage yourself, you likely know somebody who has and understand how disruptive and upsetting it can be — especially if it could've been prevented in the first place.
Water damage is among the most common types of home insurance claims (which may come as no surprise given that water flows throughout almost every room in the home). In fact, it ranks second in claims frequency, following wind and hail damage, with roughly one in 50 insured homeowners claiming property damage caused by water damage or freezing each year.
In some cases, water leaks are obvious. But in others, the damage they cause can be subtle or occur in an area of the home you don't typically access. In that case, standing water can go unnoticed for weeks or even months at a time, gradually becoming more and more serious. (That's why water leak sensors alert you to small amounts of water accumulation right away.) On top of that, water leaks can also cause damage in the form of humidity and mold.
So — how can you protect your home from water damage? Start by understanding the areas of your home that are most vulnerable.
#1: The Bathroom
Coming in at #1… your home's bathrooms. This might not come as a surprise: a lot can go wrong between toilets, sinks, showers, and tubs — from leaky pipes and fittings to accidental overflows. On top of that, regular high humidity can trigger issues like mold and mildew.
To protect your bathrooms from water damage, regularly check for signs of leaks, like discoloration on the walls or floors. A Leak Sensor placed near a leak-prone area can do the work for you (they're especially helpful for those hard-to-reach spots, like the cabinet under the sink).
Other easy tips? Place bathmats on the floor, and always check around them for water after you take a shower or bath. Turn on the fan (or even invest in a dehumidifier) to lessen humidity during and post-shower. Regularly de-clog your sink and shower drains. And call in the help of a professional to upgrade old fixtures and tiles that could potentially facilitate water damage.
#2: The Kitchen
The kitchen is another area of the home susceptible to water damage. Sinks can clog, leak, or overflow, and large appliances connected to water supply lines are also at-risk.
Refrigerators can leak for a number of reasons: if the defrost drain or water supply line is clogged, for example, or if the ice maker malfunctions. Dishwashers can leak for a variety of reasons as well, including a faulty door latch, a corroded tub, or loose or damaged valves.
A water leak sensor placed strategically underneath the kitchen sink, refrigerator, or dishwasher can help you stay on top of potential leaks and prevent costly water damage, as can regular cleaning and maintenance.
#3: The Basement
98% of basements in the US will experience some type of water damage during their lifespans.
In some cases, this is due to seepage that can infiltrate from natural groundwater or even during a heavy rain. (Water always seeks the lowest level.)
The basement also typically houses a home's hot water heater, which can leak if there's too much pressure within the water heater tank, or if the pressure relief valve or drain valve is loose or damaged.
You should make it a habit to check around your water heater for leaks at least every month (or install a leak sensor to do the work for you!). Low water pressure or rusty water are also signs that your hot water heater might need professional maintenance.
#4: The Laundry Room
Rounding out the list? The laundry room. As with bathrooms, kitchens, and even basements, there are multiple potential culprits when it comes to laundry room water damage, but — unsurprisingly — the washing machine is the most at-risk.
A significant amount of water is used to wash clothes; washing machines might overflow during operation, or a hose might spring a leak. If this happens when you're not home, you could be facing serious and costly damage.
Experts recommend replacing washing machine hoses every five years, or any time you notice deterioration prior to that.
With so much opportunity for water damage, it can almost seem inevitable. But with the right precautions, you can avoid water damage — and the emotional and financial toll that often follows. To proactively protect against water damage within your own home, consider a water leak sensor. The Leak Sensor from Hedge can be placed in any of the at-risk areas discussed above, plus more. Click here to learn more about our Leak Sensors, plus other smart home devices that enable proactive home protection.