Owning a home requires staying on top of maintenance and repairs to ensure that everything is operating smoothly. Unfortunately, our daily lives and the passage of time can all start to take their toll on our homes, which means that problems can seem to pile up as your house gets older.
Plumbing problems can be particularly concerning because of the risk of flooding and the great inconvenience that is caused by being unable to use your shower, toilet, sink, or appliances. Many people wonder if their home insurance can help them to address these problems.
However, home insurance is largely geared toward covering damage that is caused by sudden and accidental events such as fires, storms, and falling objects. Many of the plumbing issues that you encounter in your home can be traced to maintenance problems, which means that these types of policies will not typically cover them.
Plumbing and Leaks
Homeowner’s insurance will cover plumbing damage and leaks if it is accidental and occurs suddenly. For example, it may cover damage caused by frozen pipes in homes that are heated adequately, as well as ruptured systems or appliances.
Some plumbing problems are more of a gray area. Among the issues that are sometimes covered are leaks or mold that are hidden away in the walls and floors of the home, pipes that have burst due to corrosion or aging, and plumbing that has malfunctioned as a result of improper installation.
Here is a look at some of the plumbing repairs that are never covered by homeowners insurance.
Pipes That Have Frozen and Broken as a Result of Neglect
If your home was not adequately heated when your pipes froze, do not expect your insurance to cover the resulting water damage. Likewise, if your pipes froze after you left your home empty for a long period of time and failed to turn off the water supply before vacating it, that damage will not be covered either.
In the past, supply pipes in many homes in the US were made out of galvanized steel and polybutylene. These types of pipes are now known to be very hazardous with chemicals in public water such as chlorine making them brittle and leading to burst pipes and leaks. Therefore, homeowners insurance does not usually cover homes that have these types of pipes.
Mold Damage or Leaking Pipes That Could Have Been Prevented
In cases where your home’s pipes leak across a span of several weeks or months and the leak is very obvious, repairs will not be covered. Should the leak lead to the growth of mold in your walls or floors, the costs associated with removing the mold and repairing the floors or walls would also not be covered.
Backups in Your Sewer Line or Sump Pump
Standard home insurance policies do not typically cover water damage from clogged pipes and backed up sewer lines. Likewise, it will not cover overflowed sump pumps. However, there are optional water backup coverage endorsements that homeowners can obtain if they wish to be protected against sewer line and sump pump backups in the future.
Preventing Broken Pipes
Water damage can be very costly, so it is important to take steps to protect the plumbing in your home. Here is a look at what you can do to prevent pipes from leaking or breaking.
Replace Your Home’s Plumbing
If your home has older corroded plumbing, hire a local plumber to inspect the pipes. It may be possible to replace specific pipes that are vulnerable to damage, which can save you considerable money in the long term.
Winterize Your Home’s Plumbing
If your house is vacant during the winter months, there are a few steps you can take to winterize it and protect your pipes. For example, you can turn off your water, drain the water from your home’s hot water tank, open the drain valves, and remove any excess standing water that is inside of the pipes. You should also check any tub and sink drains that are equipped with drain traps.
Keep Your Trees Trimmed
If there is a possibility that the roots of any trees in your yard could be interfering with your plumbing, hire professionals to trim invasive roots that could lead to leaks or blockages. You should also have a plumber inspect your pipes to identify any damage that may already be in progress so it can be corrected before it gets worse.
Contact the Experienced Plumbers at O’Connor Plumbing
If your home is beginning to show its age and you are concerned about the condition of your pipes, it is crucial to have professionals inspect them so any issues can be corrected before they become major problems. Reach out to the highly trained plumbers at O’Connor Plumbing today to find out more about our residential plumbing services.