Did you know that simple household leaks cause nearly one-trillion gallons of water waste each year? While water waste is bad enough, it often results in water damage and the average cost of a homeowner water damage insurance claim is over $11,000 dollars. Besides the daunting financial implications, homeowners often lose precious family photos and keepsakes that insurance policies simply can’t replace.
It’s an important challenge that all home and building owners should be aware of. That’s why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) annually sponsors Fix a Leak Week which will take place March 20 – 26 this year. The event is designed to raise awareness about the importance of fixing household leaks that can lead to significant water waste and damage, and can result in higher utility bills.
“Fix a Leak Week is not only about saving water, but also about preventing potential property water damage,” says Dena Aholt, Technical Support Specialist at WaterCop. “Leaks can cause costly damage to homes and personal property, and can also lead to the growth of harmful mold and mildew. By detecting and fixing leaks, we can protect both our property and our health, while also saving water and money.”
Common leaks and what to do about them.
According to the EPA, average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. The key to prevent water waste and damage in your home is to periodically inspect areas where leaks commonly occur. Here’s where to begin:
- Faucets – A leaky faucet that drips once per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year – that’s about 180 showers! Be sure to inspect for old and worn faucet washers and gaskets which can cause leaks. Replacing these washers and gaskets is quick, easy, and inexpensive.
- Shower heads – It can often be hard to detect when a showerhead is leaking but this can result in substantial water waste and damage, including mold. Make sure there is a tight connection between the shower head and pipe stem, and apply caulk or Teflon tape if necessary to effectively control any water leakage.
- Toilets – Toilets can leak in several ways, including from the base, tank, or bowl, including the valve seals. Simple leaks can be repaired with rubber seals. If the leak is more substantial, contact a licensed plumber.
- Outdoor leaks – From outdoor faucets and hoses to irrigation systems, outdoor leaks can cause substantial damage to your home, property, and utility bills. For leaking spigots and pipes, try applying a repair clamp or epoxy putty to the damaged area. If the leak is severe, replacement parts may be necessary.
While Fix a Leak Week serves as an important reminder to take action to conserve water and protect your home or building from water damage, you should be mindful of these tips throughout the year. For more information about Fix-A-Leak Week, visit the EPA webpage. And if you’re looking for more ways to protect your home from water damage, feel free to contact us today!