Imagine coming home from work, ready to relax, enjoy dinner with your family in front of the TV. But when you enter your doorway, you step into a puddle of water about an inch deep. What do you do?
Crying won’t help. Calling 9-1-1 won’t help either. The first thing to do is call your homeowners insurance company. Oftentimes, insurance carriers are able to assist during this situation by providing a list of preferred vendors in your area who will come to your home and begin the drying-out process with special equipment to avoid mold from growing and further damage from occurring. After the home is dry, an assessment of the damage begins, followed by the rebuilding. This process can take months however, it is possible to take steps to prevent this from occurring or avoiding this scenario altogether.
Take note of the most common areas which experience water leaks in a home:
- Water heater
Some water leaks are difficult to detect. For instance, if the water is seeping from pipes underneath the home’s foundation, it may not be until the pipe bursts when you realize there was a problem. If you have an older home, take the opportunity to review the condition of the pipes when conducting yearly maintenance checks or if you experience any type of backup or clog.
Monitoring your water meter is another form of keeping apprised of the usage in your home. Compare past water bills to determine the average use and costs. Should your bill suddenly increase, take a closer at where a water leak may be present. You can also shut off the water of your home and see if the water meter continues to record water use, if so, you likely have a water leak. Although this process may assist in determining a leak, it will likely only detect a large leak, and it will not pinpoint the source, preventing you from remedying the situation in a timely manner and avoid further damage.
Florida Peninsula Insurance Company receives hundreds of water claims each year. Most of these losses are plumbing leaks initiating underneath bathroom and kitchen sinks. The average cost associated with a water loss due to a plumbing leak is approximately $19K. Since many Florida homeowners’ carriers limit the recovery amount which can be claimed due to a water leak, detection, prevention, and mitigation are key.
Available in today’s market are several different types of water detection devices ranging from $250 - $2,000. These devices are strategically placed in the most likely places to experience a leak, such as under kitchen sinks, behind toilets, and near water heaters. These small devices will alert you to a water leak by sounding an alarm, similar to a smoke or carbon monoxide detector. The alarm will lead you to the source of the leak and will afford you the opportunity to take action to remedy the situation quickly, and possibly save your home from thousands of dollars in damage.
Avoiding a claim is always the preference. Installations of water detection devices throughout your home may help. If you experience a water claim:
- Call your insurance carrier first.
- Florida Peninsula offers water mitigation services at “No Cost” to you when using one of our preferred vendors.
- Take steps to mitigate damage and avoid mold from developing.
- Be wary of unscrupulous plumbing contractors.
Your home is likely your most valuable asset, take every measure possible to protect your home and your family from harm and discomfort. If you are a Florida Peninsula policyholder and experience a water loss, call us first to be referred to a local water mitigation vendor near you or call your agent for assistance.