Top four tips for preventing water damage | PEMCO

April 11, 2024 by PEMCO Insurance

GettyImages-1337979339.jpgThe one home claim you can help prevent

Water damage is one of the most common (and expensive!) types of claims that homeowners face. According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage accounts for more than a quarter of all homeowners insurance claims, with an average claim cost of $12,500. Water damage can also lead to other problems, such as mold, rot, and structural damage, which can affect your health and safety. 

At PEMCO, water loss is one of our most common home claims. And, unlike claims caused from damage by hail or windstorms (and other acts of nature), water loss claims are can be preventable! Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent water damage in your home and save yourself from the hassle and stress of dealing with a claim.

Here are the four best ways to prevent water damage in your home, according to PEMCO’s experts. 

1. Inspect and maintain your plumbing system 

One of the main causes of water damage in homes is faulty or leaking pipes. To avoid this, you should inspect your plumbing system regularly and fix any issues as soon as possible. Some signs of plumbing problems include: 

  • Water stains on walls, ceilings, or floors 

  • Musty or damp smells 

  • Low water pressure or discolored water 

  • Unusually high water bills (Our experts say this is a big one to watch out for.)

If you notice any of these signs, you should contact a licensed plumber to inspect and repair your pipes. Also consider replacing any old or corroded pipes, especially if they are made of galvanized steel, which is prone to rusting and bursting.  

2. Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and clear 

Another common cause of water damage in homes is clogged or damaged gutters and downspouts. These are designed to collect and divert rainwater away from your roof and foundation, but if they’re blocked by leaves or debris, they can overflow and cause water to seep into your home or foundation.  

To prevent this, you should clean your gutters and downspouts at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and fall. You should also check them for any cracks, holes, or sagging, and repair or replace them as needed. You can also install gutter guards or screens to prevent debris from accumulating in your gutters. 

3. Protect your home from flooding 

Finally, you consider taking steps to prepare your home for the possibility of flooding, especially if you live in a low-lying or flood-prone area. While we’re well-equipped for rain, PNWers are not immune to floods! Flooding can occur due to heavy rainfall, snowmelt, storm surges, or overflowing rivers or lakes, and it can cause severe water damage to your home and belongings. To protect your home from flooding, you should: 

  • Consider a sump pump and a battery backup in your basement or crawl space, if the placement of your home makes it more prone to flooding. 

  • Seal any cracks or gaps in your foundation, walls, or windows 

  • Landscape your yard to slope away from your home and improve drainage 

You should also review your homeowners insurance policy and make sure you have adequate coverage for water damage. Most standard policies—including PEMCO’s--don’t cover flood damage, so you may want to consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy. 

4. Install water leak sensors in your home 

One of the best ways to prevent water damage in your home is to detect and stop leaks before they cause major damage. That's why we recommend installing water leak sensors in your home, especially in areas where water is used or stored, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and water heaters.  

Water leak sensors are smart home devices that can monitor the moisture level and temperature of your home and alert you of any changes via your smartphone or smart speaker. Some water leak sensors can also connect to your smart water valve and shut off the water supply automatically if a leak is detected. This way, you can prevent water damage and save money on your water bill, if a leak does occur. 

Having a water leak consider can also get you a protective device discount on your homeowners insurance. It’s a win, win! 

While a lot of things in life are out of our control, if we are diligent about taking these steps around our home and property (and stay on top of maintenance) we can mitigate much of the risk associated with potential water damage to our home. That sounds like a way to worry less and live more!
If you need to make a claim—or have a question about your coverage—you can go online at, log in to the Go PEMCO app, or speak with a licensed agent at 1-800-GO-PEMCO (1-800-467-3626).

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