It's sitting there so innocently, just waiting for you to wash the dinner dishes or rinse a colander full of broccoli. But your sink, like every other water-using appliance in your home, has the potential to disrupt your life with a sudden leak – warping hardwood floors, soaking carpets, even drowning the drywall.
Water losses (not theft or fire) are PEMCO's single biggest source of homeowners' claims, accounting for about 33% of the losses we see.
So what are the two secrets your sink is so eager to tell you?
No. 1: Don't invite clogs. That bacon grease from Sunday's breakfast shouldn't go down the garbage disposal, even if you're running hot water as you pour. It will cool and can cling to pipes, inviting blockages. Instead, pour it into a paper cup and let it harden in the refrigerator. Then, throw it away.
No. 2: When you do get a clog, don't be so quick to reach for the liquid drain cleaner. Its caustic chemicals eat away at your pipes along with the gunk you're trying to clear. Overuse can make your pipes more susceptible to leaks. An inexpensive drain snake from your local hardware store is a much safer bet.
Your washing machine and ice-maker also have advice to share. The rubber hoses that come with most washing machines eventually grow brittle and can burst. Since the laundry room is a low-traffic area, even a big leak can go unnoticed for hours. Either replace rubber hoses every three years or switch to metal mesh hoses, available at hardware stores. And that water-supply line on your refrigerator's ice-maker? Another sneaky leaker in waiting. It's easily crimped if you push the refrigerator too far back after you've pulled it out to clean. To be safe, shine a flashlight under it the next day to make sure no leaks have sprung.
We're developing new tips and resources to help you fight costly water leaks. Stay tuned!
DID YOU KNOW?
Coverage for water leak damage can be tricky if the leak is anything other than a sudden gusher. For example, if water leaks through a toilet's gasket or wax ring and slowly rots the floor, it's considered a maintenance issue and not something covered under standard homeowners policy contracts. The same is true for failed caulk around sinks and tubs and crumbling grout in the shower stall.