A Homeowners Guide to Water

Our homeowners guide to water includes helpful information about water damage and prevention, some insightful resources on a variety of water damage topics, and much more. Some of the causes of water damage include burst pipes, natural disasters, and more. Learn about water damage and take advantage of free resources from the National Safety Council and more with this homeowners guide to water damage right here.

Free Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

Full Bio →

Written by

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 14, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single insurance company.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

Water is one of the most important aspects of a comfortable and functional home. However, it can also be a cause of distress to your family and cause damage to your home when left unchecked. To help deal with and avoid these instances, learn about what you can do to prevent water damage, as well as what you can do to reduce health risks and damage if it does occur.

Home Damage Caused by Water

Water damage can happen for a variety of reasons. But one thing is for sure; it is something you need to take seriously as both a renter and homeowner. From causes and prevention to repairs, here is a quick overview of everything you need to know to deal with or prepare against water damage:

Types of Water Damage

Often happening suddenly and through accidents or natural disasters, water damage is one of the most commonly filed insurance claims among homeowners. Knowing exactly what type of damage your house has will make the claims process easier. The type of water damage is determined by the water source:

  • Flood waters
  • Sewer backup
  • Supply overflow or discharge

Causes of Water Damage

In order to protect your home from possible water damage, you should be aware of possible causes. Be sure to keep an eye out for the following:

  • Plumbing issues and old pipes
  • Pipe bursts or leaks
  • Sump Pump Failure
  • Broken household appliances
  • HVAC malfunctions
  • Natural disasters

While, obviously, you cannot prevent natural disasters, many of the other causes of water damage can be prevented with regular home maintenance.

Resources:

Compare The Best Insurance Quotes In The Country

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Health and Safety Hazards

Aside from physical damage to your home, water leaks can also cause some health and other safety hazards, especially if left unsolved for long periods of time. Added humidity inside your house can easily lead to the formation of mold which in turn can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Unchecked pooling water, especially in hidden areas of the house, can cause your ceiling or flooring to lose structural integrity which can lead to accidents and collapses.

Resources:

Cleaning and Repairing Your Home

The first step to dealing with water damage is finding out where the excess water is coming from. Once the pipe has been fixed or the floodwaters have subsided, you should work on drying out everything the water touched. After an inspection, you can gauge how much damage a flood or a broken pipe caused so you can file an insurance claim and then determine the repairs you need to do to undo the damage.

Resources:

Water Damage Prevention

Repair costs to fix water damage can be expensive and, not to mention, time-consuming, so prevention should be every homeowner’s concern. Now that you know the top causes of water damage, you can start by regularly conducting inspections on your pipe system, HVAC system, and home appliances. In addition, always watch out for possible leaks in your bathroom and pipes.

Resources:

Compare The Best Insurance Quotes In The Country

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Home Water Health and Safety

Drinking Water

Drinking bottled water can get expensive and sometimes impossible for some households. While drinking tap water is safe in most locations in the United States, you can never be too sure. Your local water supply may be clean, but unforeseen issues with your plumbing or storm waters may lead to contamination in your home’s water supply. Substances like lead, pesticides, chlorine, and coliform bacteria are the usual culprits in water contamination cases in the home.

Resources:

Preventing Water Contamination

What you do in the home can affect the quality of both your own and your local community’s water supply. Don’t contribute to the worsening water pollution and avoid doing the following:

  • Using antibacterial soaps and chemical-filled cleaning products
  • Disposing of old medication through flushing
  • Using harsh fertilizers and pesticides

Resources:

Water Testing

If you want to make sure that your water supply is clean and safe to use, you can usually purchase water testing kits from your local hardware store. However, calling in the pros for a lab test may be the best choice.

Resources:

Swimming Pool and Pond Safety

Having your own swimming pool or fish pond in your backyard has its perks and downsides. For one, ponds and pools can pose a drowning threat to small children or pets. They can also be a breeding ground for bacteria if left unmaintained. Maintain gates and make sure to test your pool water regularly.

Resources:

Water Conservation and Pollution Reduction

According to estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American household can save up to 30% of their current water use through opting for more water-efficient appliances and fixtures. Through these, households can easily save up to $170 in water bills a year. These methods are also good news for your local water supply.

Meanwhile, water is one of the world’s most threatened resource due to pollution. But you and other homeowners can help reverse this by doing your part when it comes to conservation and pollution reduction, be it by installing rain barrels, reusing water, or avoiding harsh cleaning products.

Resources:

Compare The Best Insurance Quotes In The Country

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Additional Resources

To learn more about how you can ensure water quality in your home without spending a lot of money, check out Engineering For Change’s article, Ten low-cost ways to treat water. If you are interested in what the world’s water resources will look like in the coming decades, visit the World Resources Institute: The future of freshwater.

Free Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption