Plumbing and appliance failure are the common culprits of most water damage that occurs in the home.  While these can start as small undetected drips or as sudden pipe bursts, the resulting water damage can easily result in thousands of dollars in damage and at least a couple of headaches for homeowners.  While we can’t prevent all water emergencies, today’s blog focuses on how to avoid common water loss insurance claims by looking at how we can prevent damage that often results from dishwashers, washing machines and toilets.

Dishwashers–the average dishwasher uses 9-12 gallons of water per cycle.  A small pinhole leak in the plumbing to a dishwasher can go undetected while it saturates and weakens the flooring underneath.  It is important to act quickly as soon as you notice discoloration of your vinyl or if you see any buckling of your laminate or hardwood flooring.  If the supply line to your dishwasher is made of a rubber hose, replace it with a steel-braided hose as the rubber hoses can deteriorate over time.  Also, do not leave your dishwasher running while you are away from home.  If a pipe suddenly bursts during the cycle, you can minimize the damage the quicker you are able to turn the water off to the appliance.

Washing Machines–older washing machines use up to 40 gallons of water per load while newer energy efficient washers still use between 18-25 gallons.  Just imagine how much damage just these 18-40 gallons of water could cause.  Now imagine if these gallons multiplied because of a broken water supply line and hundreds of gallons of water flooded your home each hour it went undetected.  While there is no way of knowing when a hose might break, you again can prevent extensive water damage by not running the washing machine when you are away from home.  You can also inspect the hoses annually and if you suspect a weakening of the hose, go ahead and replace it.  The average lifespan of washing machine supply line hose is 3-5 years.

Leaky Toilet–the supply line again is the main source of water loss, this time in toilets.  The use of braided hoses tend to hold up better over time.  Broken toilet tanks and stuck flappers are also causes of leaking toilets.  If you see water puddling around the tank or notice the flush handle sticking, go ahead and contact a plumber or look into replacing your toilet as these are indicators of larger problems.

It is also important to know where the water shut off valve is to your home.  If you encounter water flooding from broken water pipes or appliance malfunction, you will need to turn the water off as quickly as possible before trying to soak or mop up as much water as possible.  It is also good practice to turn off the water to your home when you leave for vacation.  As some of our previous customers will attest to, a house flooded from water running for 5-7 days is not the welcome home they were expecting or hoping for.

If you or someone you know experiences water damage from a leaky toilet, a dishwasher or an overflowing washing machine, give PHC Restoration a call.  We have certified technicians on call 24-hours a day ready to help.