We know household plumbing issues can sneak up on you, and one of the most common being leaks around the home. When you’re aware something is wrong, you need to take the proper steps immediately before further damage occurs. Early leak detection can mean the difference between simple repairs versus a major plumbing system replacement as well as structural repairs throughout your home, whether it be in San Marcos, Poway or anywhere in San Diego County.
If a leak has gone unnoticed, the next step is to fix it is to assess the damage. Insurance companies are often the bearer of bad news when it comes to leak damage because they don’t cover everything you expect. Your homeowner insurance policy will most likely have language that talks about “a sudden discharge,” versus “wear and tear” or “homeowner maintenance.”
Not understanding how and why things get covered is not only a point of frustration for homeowners; it’s also a financial burden. At Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air, our plumbing service is here to help you.
Here is a guide to common issues and how insurance covers them, if at all. More importantly in this guide, we explain how to detect a plumbing problem sooner than later:
Mold Remediation and Drywall Replacement
Black spots appeared on the walls of the bathroom and hallway. This means moisture. A water leak exists somewhere and has penetrated. Mold suggests it’s been going on long enough that mold had time to grow. The plumber tells you this was due to a pipe leak behind the water heater, which needs to be repaired. He says, “It’s probably been going on for some time now.”
Is the mold remediation, drywall work and/or new water heater installation covered by insurance? Sorry, no.
Because this wasn’t spontaneous, “no sudden discharge,” it is considered part of homeowner maintenance requirements. Water damage from an ongoing problem is not covered. Unfortunately, your insurance company expects you to see behind walls in some cases to perform proper maintenance.
How can you detect the leak before a huge problem like this emerges?
Regularly check faucets, the water heater or garbage disposal for drips. Faucet repair is easy and inexpensive. Monitor sinks and drains, looking for changes in water pressure changes or slow drains. Is there discoloration on walls or ceilings from water? Listen when no water is on; do you hear anything dripping. If you can’t see the source, it’s probably on the walls.
A plumbing professional has electronic leak detection tools and can see into the walls of your Vista home. A leak detector can warn of bigger problems like water heater leaks, slab leaks, or other general water leak problems.
Pay attention to your water meter readings, aka water bill. This key indicator clearly shows water usage changes. If normal household and gardening habits haven’t changed, suspect a leak.
A Pipe Burst and Flooded the Kitchen
Is this covered by insurance? Yes, most of it anyway.
A pipe bursting with water spurting everywhere is considered a sudden event. While the replacement of the plumbing fixtures might not be covered in all homeowners’ insurance policies, the damage to your hardwood floors, walls, cabinets and any appliances ruined would be covered subject to your deductible.
Check with your insurance agent to see if your policy covers the actual pipe. Do what you can to limit further damage by shutting the main water off and moving personal items and furniture away, preventing further damage. Your insurance company will likely have a remediation company come out to clean things up, assess the damage and get to work on the claim subject to policy limits.
Maintenance is the key to preventing water damage. Having a plumbing professional do a hydro jet cleaning every couple of years also helps prevent clogs and backups leading to potential burst pipes. Homeowners can limit potential losses with this type of regular cost-effective maintenance.
Baseboard Have Moisture Beads on Them
A slab leak is nothing to mess with. If you see moisture beads on the baseboards or hear water running when no water in the house is on, you might have a slab leak. If it’s hot water, there may also be hotspots on the floor with discoloration from water damage.
Don’t leave even a minor slab leak unattended. Not only could you be dealing with health issues resulting from mold and mildew, your entire foundation could start to shift.
Don’t attempt this as a DIY. Our plumbers have sophisticated slab leak detection equipment designed for subsurface leak detection. It will identify and isolate the problem, saving money in the long run.
Is this covered by your homeowners insurance? No.
This is a maintenance issue; something you want to deal with quickly. If you do, our plumbing experts might only need to create two access holes to fix the pipe, repairing it with epoxy.
Gas Leak Led to Explosion and Fire
Is this covered by insurance? Yes.
Most would agree that an explosion is a sudden event. The damages from the fire should be covered by your homeowners’ policy. That being said, how can you avoid having your home go up in flames, risking injury to family and pets?
Methane gas doesn’t have a smell. But utility companies put an additive in it, giving it a rotten egg smell. This helps gas leak detection happen sooner than later in most cases. If you suspect a gas leak, turn the gas off immediately, leave the house, and call emergency services.
Once given the all clear to work in the area, a plumbing contractor scans the gas pipeline through your property and appliances. Our detection services will isolate the gas leak and establish a protocol for a safe repair.
Preventing a water or gas problem is always easier than dealing with the problems from a leak or rupture. Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air is happy to help develop a regular maintenance schedule to keep your water and gas lines in tip top shape.
We can’t prevent every plumbing problem. We can’t control what your insurance company will cover. What Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air can do is greatly reduce the likelihood of expensive plumbing problems.Don’t leave a plumbing problem to chance. Call us to schedule your maintenance today.
One last tip before you go: Drop food coloring into your toilet tank before you retire for the evening. If you wake up in the morning to colored water in the bowl, you have a leak and need to call the plumbing company.