Preparing for the Unexpected: How to prevent in-home water damage

Tips to help you avoid one of the most common preventable insurance claims

One of the most common homeowners insurance claims is completely preventable.  It’s not fires or theft; it’s not wind, hail, or storm damage. it’s water damage. We’re not talking about damage due to flooding, heavy rainstorms or snow on the roof.  We’re talking about simple maintenance tasks that are often ignored or go unnoticed by the home owner.

The water damage we’re referring to here is easily preventable if you’re willing to develop some habits.  A major incident such as a burst or broken pipe is easy to spot.  But what about some of the slower, more insidious leaks that can develop and impact your home over time?  Looking for –and smelling for– clues on a regular basis could save you heartache and dollars down the road.

Signs of early water damage

Make a habit of exploring your plumbing system on a regular basis, like, say once or twice a year.  Burst pipes are easy to spot, but your nose can also help you detect possible problems.

  • If you have municipal water, higher than usual water bill may be the first indication of a water leak (or a toilet that is running through)
  • Moldy smells and musty odors near damp areas are a telltale sign that trouble may be nearby
  • Discoloration and water stains may be indications that water is leaking inside your walls
  • The visible presence of mold and mildew would suggest humidity issues
  • Paint that’s peeling, cracking or blistering could be indicators that water is leaking behind the scenes

What all should be checked?

As mentioned above, a burst pipe is easy to discover.  Other, less noticed or more insidious places to look for leaks include:

  • At the point of entry into your house of your water service.  Look at valves and fittings.  Is there any evidence of water leakage?
  • Faucets—at each plumbing fixture, look at the pipe connections and the faucet itself for evidence of leaks
  • Look for evidence of water marks, drips or corrosion
  • Feel for dampness or dripping at the bottom of the drain trap at each sink, tub, or shower (if accessible)
  • Safely remove plumbing access panels and look for leaks or corrosion when possible
  • Inspect the ceiling under your bathroom or kitchen and look for leaks  
  • Inspect the base of the toilet for leaks or discoloration
  • Check the toilet’s water-source valve for dampness, corrosion or condensation
  • Examine the water tank for leaks or cracks and use a hand mirror to get a look at the back
  • Check your water heater:

    –Inspect the base for rust or sediment
    –Review the condition of the tank for signs of corrosion
    –Look at the cold-water supply valve for rust or leaks
    –Check the temperature/pressure relief valve for corrosion near the elbow

  • Inspect water lines that “tap” into water pipes to feed ice or water dispensers and filters in refrigerators
  • Examine the condition of water hoses to your dish washer and washing machine.  If they are cracked or brittle, replace them.

Do a quick check of all your water lines from time to time, especially in low-traffic areas of the home.

If you notice anything suspicious, contact us at Brubaker Inc. to come take a look immediately.  You can either email us or call us at 717.299.5641.


Smart water leak sensor – a way to protect yourself

For convenience and peace of mind, we recommend that you consider a smart home water monitoring and leak detection system from Moen.  You will have your home protected 24/7, no matter where you might be.  *Reduce your chances of an insurance claim due to a water leak by over 90% and, should you have a claim, reduce your severity by over 70%.

Ask us at Brubaker Inc. about the lineup of Moen smart home water security products today.  Contact us at 717.299.5641 or email us.



* Flo by Moen is Saving Homeowners Thousands Every Year – Here’s our Proof, Flo Technologies, Inc.

1. Preparing for the Unexpected: How to prevent in-home water damage, Published by EHD Insurance, February, 2018

2. How to Prevent Water Damage, American Family Insurance

3. Protect Your Home from Water Damage Guaranteed., Flo Technologies, Inc.