How to Spot Water Damage in Your Home

Leaking-PipeAre you entitled to settlement if your property is damaged by water? Well, that depends on the fine print of your policy and what type of water damage has occurred.

Most insurance policies cover abrupt water damage such as a burst pipe or roof leak (provided the roof leak was caused by an external force such as a fallen tree or hail), but if you are referring to a long term issue then you may not be covered.

Unfortunately, most people don’t think about the plumbing in their home until there’s a problem which makes room for water damage to slowly seep into your home. That’s why it’s important to check (and potentially repair) hidden plumbing issues as soon as possible.

So what are the signs of a plumbing issue? There are some obvious signs like mildew or mold build-up, damaged walls (peeling paint or wallpaper), damaged flooring, stained ceilings and if you’re sensitive to it, there is a smell to sitting water. But we’d like to help you to recognize a potential issue before it’s screaming in your face for your attention.

As we discussed in our last blog post, Annual Home Maintenance, regular maintenance is highly recommended in order to prevent damage to your home. Add inspecting your home’s crawl spaces, attic and basement to your maintenance routine. Going into your crawl space and following the plumbing line is a good way to find a leak early on which means a quicker, easier and more cost effective repair.

If you suspect that you may have a leak by any of your toilets here are two tests you can do:

  1. Put a layer or tissue paper at the base of your toilet. Flush. Check the tissue paper for any water spots. This method is an easy way to see if you have even the slightest leak.
  2. Place a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank and wait 15 minutes. If the food coloring shows up in the toilet bowl without being flushed then you have a leak.

Have you noticed lower water pressure or fluctuations in shower water temperature? How about a sudden increase of water usage on your water bill? These are another two easy ways to spot signs that you might have a hidden leak. Easy to spot now that you know to look for them!