Don't Get Caught Up the Creek as a Result of Water Damage
One of the things you hope you never have to do as a property owner is file an insurance claim through your Homeowners policy, but it somehow seems inevitable. One of the most prevalent types of claims is due to water damage, which can be caused by many sources you may not consider because of the "out of sight-out of mind" rule. Waters from floods resulting from storms and natural disasters are in a league of their own and typically require a separate flood insurance policy, so be sure to check with your insurance carrier if it's needed.
Damage from water can usually be seen pretty clearly, but not always, especially if something is leaking inside a wall and maybe is exiting the structure somehow, or perhaps into a basement or crawlspace, etc. Some of the most common culprits are frozen pipes, laundry supply hoses, refrigerator ice-maker supply lines, supply lines for kitchen and bathroom sinks, domestic hot water heaters, and with so many possibilities, we hope you get the idea! We could write for pages on how to take preventative measures and bore you to tears, but one thing we think is super important is something that many folks overlook because of the "rule" we mentioned earlier, and that is to make SURE that you know how to turn the water off! It sounds crazy, but knowing how to either locate the shut-off valve for the specific appliance or area that's leaking, or to simply know how and where to shut off the water to the entire house in a hurry is probably going to be tops on your list of things to learn! Water damage can be catastrophic if it goes undetected, which it does in many cases, and often no matter what preventive measures you take plumbing leaks will happen anyway, so the first order of business is stopping the flow of water!
If you'd like to learn more about the plumbing in your home, you can certainly do it yourself, but like anything else we ALWAYS recommend the advice and instruction of an Industry Professional, because like most everything else real estate related this is not something where you want to learn the hard way. If you have a trusted plumber, it's worth every penny of the service call to get an in-home tutorial, or another option is to contact your Realtor® and ask if they have a trusted Home Inspector who could give a similar workshop. Stay dry and stay informed!