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October 18, 2018

Avoid Costly Water Damage with These Three Maintenance Checks

Regular maintenance makes a big difference in the long run. That’s why we get regular oil changes on our vehicles, have them inspected when something small seems wrong and pay special attention to that check engine light. Sure, it could be something as small as an oxygen sensor, but unless you pay attention, what could be a more affordable fix could turn into a big problem.

So why don’t we think that way when it comes to our homes?

At TruBlue Total House Care, that regular maintenance mindset is part of why we started offering House Care Plus but even if you aren’t signed up for a monthly program, bringing out a TruBlue technician for regular maintenance walkthroughs or for smaller repairs can help you later on. Here are three water-related regular maintenance items that, if you ignore, can cause thousands of dollars in damage:

Check Your Drainage

Homes settle and drainage pathways change, whether you’re on a hill, in a valley or on a flat piece of land. That’s normal. What’s not normal is when water is not being redirected away from your home and causing issues like flooding, structural damage and foundation issues. Unfortunately, these kinds of issues happen over time and, because the damage is usually gradual, it can easily go unnoticed. Keep an eye out for any cracks in basement or crawlspace walls and watch for any areas that are damp or that have mildew. These are signs that something isn’t right. We recommend bringing a TruBlue technician out once per year to check for any issues, but you can help more regularly by doing things like clearing the leaves out of your gutters and testing your sump pump. Here’s an article from Home Advisor on the average cost of structural repairs (https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/foundations/repair-a-foundation/).

Inspect Your Plumbing

A little drip can go unnoticed, especially if it’s under a sink, in a laundry room or in a crawlspace, but that small leak can quickly turn into big problems. A broken pipe can lead to flooding and major damage to your floors and walls. Also, if a small leak isn’t fixed, that water can quickly lead to mold. Plus, while homeowners insurance may cover a sudden or accidental leak, it won’t cover damage resulting from poor maintenance. We recommend having a TruBlue technician inspect your plumbing – especially any older pipes – once every six months. According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, the cost of a burst pipe will vary dramatically based on the damage, but generally costs about $5,000 after the deductible is paid.

Watch Your Water Heater

Water heaters are easy to overlook until you run out of hot water in the shower, but water heaters can cause a lot of damage. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety data shows that most water heaters fail because they are old and, eventually, succumb to rust and corrosion. Water heater failures average a cost of about $4,400 after the deductible is paid, but you can help prevent major damage with regular maintenance. Once every six months (or more often for older water heaters), inspect the water heater’s anode rod and flush the system. An article from Angie’s List (https://www.angieslist.com/articles/maintenance-extends-your-water-heaters-life.htm) shows that, since water heaters have few moving parts, repairs are often pretty affordable.

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