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Water Leak Prevention for Homeowners

When you hear the words “water event,” do you think of flooded rivers, rainstorms and Mother Nature? Or do you consider broken water tanks, burst pipes and overflowing toilets?

Each day, an estimated 14,000 people in the U.S. experience a water damage emergency at home or work, according to insurance industry research. Areas prone to leaks – such as washing machine and refrigerator lines, sump pumps, water heaters and floor drains – can cause serious damage if left unattended.

The key is to stop a leak before it becomes a significant loss. The sooner you catch and stop the water source, the less severe the damage is likely to be.

How to spot a water leak

Every homeowner should be familiar with how to find a water leak, as it’s likely that every home will suffer from water damage at least once. Even the slightest signs of water may be a sign of a much bigger issue.

First, consider the most common areas for leaks in your home. These include:

  • Toilets

  • Sink Faucets

  • Showerheads

  • Piping

  • Leaking Roofs

A consistent leak, such as a running toilet, can waste a substantial amount of water, setting you up for a nasty surprise when the water bill arrives. Although a small leak may not seem significant enough to trigger an insurance claim or warrant repair, homeowners with even small water leaks may encounter long-term damage leading to mold and health risks.

Second, remember to inspect your home regularly for the following:

  • Leaking pipe joints or P-traps underneath sinks

  • Leaks around appliances that use water

  • Corrosion on supply lines to appliances and fixtures

  • Stains below supply line connections

  • Broken toilet tank flappers

  • Odd smells coming from drains, which may indicate a sewer leak

  • Warped or discolored flooring

  • Water stains on the walls or ceilings

Act fast after water damage

If you experience a water leak inside your home, time is of the essence. Shutting off the main water line can be the difference between minimal and major damage.

Be prepared by knowing where the water main shutoff valve is located. This can vary greatly from home to home, so don’t be surprised if your water shutoff valve is in a different spot or looks a little different from your neighbor’s.

To locate the valve, look around the perimeter of the building. If the home is new to you, check your realty inspection report, as valves are generally marked on the document. The utility box is another place you can check for the shutoff valve.

In many cases, you may not need to rush to the main water shutoff if you find a small leak. Instead, go straight to the valves at the source of the leak. Simply turn valves clockwise behind or above the fixture to stop the water source while you inspect for trouble. Test valves regularly to make sure nothing is broken or in disrepair.

No matter where your water shutoff valves are located, be sure to identify their location in advance of an emergency and share that information with family members. You never know who might be at home when a major water leak occurs! A prepared family can help keep your residence safe.

If you detect a water leak – large or small – and need immediate help, ServiceMaster DSI is ready to respond. With 24/7/365 emergency water damage services and trained crews, we provide quality service to restore not only your home but also your peace of mind. Call today at 800-954-9444.