Home Help Lesson #1 - Quick Ways to Protect Your Home from Water Damage

There is a ticking time bomb inside your home that could end up costing you thousands of dollars once it explodes. And it will explode if you do nothing. Do you know what it is? They may be small, but if the water supply hoses on your washing machine burst, your home can be subjected to considerable water damage, costing thousands of dollars to repair.

According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, washing-machine related failures are one of the top 10 sources of damage caused by water loss in homes. A water hose that bursts can fill your home with over 400 gallons of water every hour until the water is shut off. In a home that was occupied at the time the hose burst, the average cost to repair the water damage is $6,167, after the insurance deductible. In an unoccupied home, the damage caused by a burst hose rises to $12,308!

There are ways to combat this water damage disaster. Let’s talk about the four steps you can take, to prevent this from happening to you and your family.

1. Examine hoses for signs of distress The water supply hoses are located behind your machine, and are connected to your homes water lines. One hose connects to the hot water line and the other to the cold. With new machines, they are typically black rubber hoses, not unlike a garden hose. The problem is that over time, like anything else, the hoses wear out, developing either cracks, bulges or leaks.

Whether you have rubber or stainless steel braided hoses, the signs of trouble are similar. In rubber hose, look for cracks in the rubber, bulges around connections, or visible water leakage through the cracks and connections. In stainless steel hoses, look for bulges as well as broken wires. If any of these problems are found, immediately replace your hoses. It is critical to examine your hoses today to see if they are exhibiting any of these three signs of trouble.

2. Buy new stronger hoses One of the best preventative measures you can do is to purchase new supply hoses reinforced on the outside with a stainless steel wire mesh. These braided hoses are inexpensive to purchase, and are available online, or at hardware and home center stores. This type of hose will greatly reduce the chance of a hose bursting. They are not totally fool proof, but are a much better choice than the standard black rubber hoses your machine comes with when you purchase it.

3. Regularly inspect your hoses It’s a good idea to get in the habit of inspecting your hoses on a monthly basis. Even if no visible signs of damage are found, it is a good idea to replace your hoses every 5 years. There could be a problem inside the hose which cannot be seen, but could cause the hose to burst. Most hoses last between 5-8 years before failure, so don‘t neglect this important monthly home maintenance task.

4. Turn off Water Lastly, perhaps the best and simplest way to prevent a burst hose from ruining your day, and your carpeting and furniture, is to turn the water off when you’re not using the machine. Simply turn the hot and cold water valves off when you’re done washing clothes, and back on again the next time you use the machine.