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How to Prevent Water Damage from 6 Common Sources

From mold to mildew to leaks, water damage is one of the most common—and costly—types of damage a homeowner can experience. What are the most common sources of water damage—and how can homeowners avoid them? In this edition of the Grange Insurance Association blog, our experts have reviewed the leading causes of water damage along with preventative tips.

#1 Check Your Plumbing

When safeguarding your home from potential water damage and avoiding costly homeowner insurance claims, one of the first things you’ll want to check is your indoor plumbing system.

Repair Leaks and Cracks

Do your plumbing pipes have any cracks or leaks? If so, you’ll want to promptly set up a time to have those inspected and repaired.

Check Seals and Caulking

The seal and caulking around tubs and showers should be watertight. If you see breaks or cracks in the caulking, it’s time to reseal.

Safeguard Against Burst Pipes

When pipes freeze, they risk bursting. Winterize your home to prevent damage, ensuring you’ve installed an emergency pressure release valve.

Check Your Toilets

Is your toilet overflowing? Is it not flushing completely? Does it seem to be running slowly, or is the water running too long after flushing? These are all signs that the toilet could be failing and should be inspected.

#2 Clean Your Gutters

When it comes to protecting your home from water damage, you need to make sure you have good drainage. Clean your gutters routinely to avoid damage to your siding and foundation.

#3 Inspect Your Water Heater

As a water heater ages, it can begin to rust and corrode, leading to leaking or bursting. An annual inspection will signal if your water heater is in good condition—or if it’s time for a replacement.

#4 Check Your Hoses

When we think of water leaks, our first thought is to inspect the bathroom plumbing. However, there are many other household appliances that can contribute to leaks, including washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators. Check appliance hoses and faucets routinely for cracks or leaks, and replace them every 5-7 years.

#5 Control Humidity Levels

High humidity levels can cause water damage, so humidity should always be below 55 percent inside the home. If there are high moisture areas in your home, consider running a dehumidifier or installing exhaust fans.

#6 Maintain Your Sump Pump

In the case of flooding from heavy storms, sump pumps can protect against damage. Be sure to test your sump pump regularly, at least once a year.

Reach Out With Questions

We hope that you found these tips to be helpful! This is not an exhaustive list, so if you have additional questions or specific concerns about your homeowner insurance coverage, please reach out to your independent advisor for guidance.

The content available via is for informational purposes only and may not be used for any other purpose. Content provided or expressed on, including that of third parties, may not reflect Grange Insurance Association’s (GIA) policies or conform to any agreement you may have with GIA and its subsidiary companies. Please contact a licensed insurance agent to obtain particular advice.

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