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How to protect against water damage

Take these steps to help minimize your risk.

Preventing water damage

Whether it's a leak in your ceiling or a basement filled with water, water damage can require a costly fix. Here are a few home improvements to make water damage less likely:

  • Add or update drainage. Use gutters and downspouts to make sure water is diverted away from your home and its foundation.
  • Install a sump pump. Try this addition if water damage has been a serious problem in your home's lower level. Choose a cast iron pump, which may last longer, and consider buying a backup battery-powered pump in case the power goes out. Test your pump twice a year or as suggested by the manufacturer.
  • Update your windows and doors. Look for watertight options in new windows and doors. Older wood windows should be cleaned, repainted and re-stained periodically. Cracks in trim should be resealed. Glazing compound around older windows should be replaced as needed.
  • Replace your pipes. Much home piping has a lifespan of 50 to 80 years, so if you have an older house, ask a plumber to check its condition. PVC pipes may need to be replaced every 25 to 40 years.
  • Regularly check your roof for signs of damage, such as excessive wear on shingles or missing shingles.
  • Seal your basement. Thick coatings, paint and silicate-based sealers may help minimize or prevent water damage. Each method varies in application and cost.
  • Replace washing machine supply hoses. Plan for new ones every three to five years as part of a proactive maintenance plan.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.


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