Reduce the Risk of Water Damage

Tips to keep your home safe, despite the weather.

By Janice Kophen

Winter is upon us, and with that comes an increased risk of water damage. From failed appliances to burst pipes, these kinds of problems are costly and not easily remedied. While it is most common for water damage to occur in freezing temperatures, our clients to the south should keep in mind that extreme heat and high humidity can lead to plumbing issues, as well. Regardless of location, it is a good idea to regularly attend to the maintenance of your home’s pipes.

Reduce the Risk of Water Damage

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Here are a few specific steps that homeowners can take to reduce their risk of water damage:

  • Keep the temperature inside your home above 65o in cold climates to avoid frozen pipes. In warmer weather, interior relative humidity should stay at 40% or less to avoid mold.
  • If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, or at risk of harm from rapidly melting snow, it is beneficial to establish a backup source of power to your sump pump. In the event of a power outage, this will help to keep it running.
  • Audit your home for hidden issues that might lead to problems with your plumbing. Air and duct leakage, excess moisture, and gaps in insulation are some of the complications to keep an eye out for.
  • Installing an automatic leak detection system and water shutoff valve can also prevent a significant amount of damage. These systems monitor the flow of water in your pipes and can detect water on the floor – if either of those variables are identified as irregular, the water supply to your home will be automatically shut off.

These are just some of the many steps that can be taken to prevent water damage, and may even lead to a discount on your homeowner’s insurance premium. 


Janice Kophen is vice president of personal insurance operations at OneGroup. She can be reached at 315-558-6777 or [email protected].