Household Plumbing Emergencies
Plumbing emergencies are not as catastrophic as natural disasters, but they can
still do a lot of damage to your home and possessions.
The most common plumbing emergencies occur when pipes break. All pipes get
old and are susceptible to breaking. If a pipe breaks while you are not at
home, your house may flood. Typically a house will fill up with 1-2 feet
of water in a week. After that the pressure of the water will force it
through doors and other small openings.
Insurance does not cover the pipes in your home. It only covers the resulting sudden and accidental damage.
It is your responsibility to maintain your pipes.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO PREPARE FOR AND AVOID PLUMBING EMERGENCIES
Change the water hose to your washing machine so that it
doesn't get brittle and break about every five years.
Contact your insurance company immediately when you have water in your home. Water mitigation companies have
machines that can quickly remove the water. If they get to it quick enough most of your household items can be
saved, and water mitigation services are usually covered by your homeowner
policy, subject to the deductible of your policy.
Keep your roof in good condition.
Caulk around bathtubs.
Use bath mats.
Periodically check the pipes under sinks.
Turn the water off to your house at the street when you leave on vacation.
Keep the wrench handy to turn off the water to your home.
Make sure all family members know how to use the wrench to turn off the water to the house.
If a house has standing water in it for a week, you will
have mold and mildew
problems. If you catch the problem within a couple of days, everything above the water will be unharmed, and many of your possessions will be able to be
One other note about water and broken pipes. The pipes that run between
your home and the street are underground. In most homes they are under the
lawn. However, they are still your
responsibility. If one of them breaks, you may end up with a huge water
bill. Keep an eye on your water meter.
Again, your homeowner policy will cover the damage
done by a pipe that breaks suddenly, as opposed to a leaking pipe. Homeowner
policies do not cover the repairs or the replacement of failed plumbing.
Your policy does cover the cleanup and drying of your home and possessions.