How to avoid water leaks

Even a small water leak can do a lot of damage, but there are a few simple things you can do to lesson the risk in your home. It’s also worth becoming familiar with your home and contents insurance policy. If you know your home and the important things inside it are covered, you might rest a little easier.

Inside your home

Check the condition of your plumbing regularly

One of the easiest ways to keep your home leak-free is to keep your plumbing in tip top shape. The next time you’re in the bathroom or kitchen, take a few moments to check your tap fittings and visible pipes, like the one under your sink. It’s also worth looking at your ceiling, floor and walls for any signs of water damage. If anything seems out of the ordinary, contact a licensed plumber for their advice.

Inspect flexi hoses

Flexi hoses are a common way of connecting appliances, sinks and toilets to your water mains. They’re a major cause of household water leaks, usually resulting from wear and tear or improper installation. So, make sure you inspect them regularly. If you’re unsure how often you need these replaced, ask a licensed plumber.

Turn off your water mains when you’re going on holiday

Turning off your water mains when you go on holiday can help prevent potential water damage while you’re away. Coming home to a leak can really dampen your post-holiday joy. And, especially if the water has been left to pool for a while, the damage could be pretty severe.

Turning your water off at the mains can reduce the chance of this happening. You’ll need to access the shut-off valve, which will likely be next to your water meter or in a utility area like a basement or garage. Once you’ve located it, turn the valve clockwise until it stops.

Outside your home

Keep your gutters clean

Leaf litter is a common cause of blocked gutters and downpipes. If water builds up, it can damage your gutters and roof. It can even put your foundations at risk if any overflow is left unchecked. Clean your gutters and downpipes a few times a year, removing the leaves — and any other foreign objects — that could affect the flow of water.

Maintain trees and shrubs

Trees and shrubs can do more damage than just dropping leaves into your gutters and downpipes. Roots can grow around, and sometimes into, your pipes. This can cause breakages and blockages, potentially leading to a leak inside or outside your home. If you can, try to avoid planting around utility pipes. If the planting is already done, consult with a plumber to see if you need to have anything removed.

Make sure you’re covered

If a leak happens, having the right home and contents insurance may help you repair or replace things affected by water damage. GIO Home and Contents Insurance combines Home Building Insurance with Contents Insurance so you can cover your house and the important items within it.

Don’t forget: it’s up to you to maintain the condition of your appliances and plumbing. For example, if damage occurs gradually because of a leak that was left unchecked your home and contents might not be covered. Take a look at your PDS to be aware of your policy’s terms and conditions.

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Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

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