Flooded House? Insurance Covers Plumbing Problems

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Boy, do we love learning about flooded houses, plumbing mishaps, and insurance claims! Can you tell we are being sarcastic? Without delay, let me take you on a little journey to one of my first showings as a new Keller Williams real estate agent and my first flooded house.

Don’t Let A Flooded House Ruin Your Day.

It was a cute, little Tallahassee house in the Southwood community. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, wooden floors, and impeccably manicured landscaping. The property was on the market for only 2 weeks before we received one of those phone calls that every Realtor dreads to receive. The master bath sprung a leak and flooded a few of the rooms! We sprung to action and connected the homeowners with a reliable local plumber and worked with the insurance agent to get the house back on the market as quickly as possible.

Major plumbing issues that develop into larger disasters are amongst the most common causes of home insurance claims. In fact, water damage claims are the second most frequent insurance claim. Furthermore, most people want to know the provisions of insurance for plumbing. The first step is to get to know the types of water damage as classified by insurance companies.

Water Damage Classifications:

  • Accidental or sudden discharge
  • Water backup or sewer backup
  • Overflow
  • Flood
  • Storm-related water damage

When it comes down to plumbing problems, most people want to know which plumping issue is covered by their insurance policy. Is it the damage caused by a leaking roof, leaking toilet, or a water leak? The following factors determine the extent to which an insurance company can intervene:

  1. Source of the damage
  2. Insurance policy type
  3. Gradual or sudden water damage

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Gradual Damage:

Most of the time, insurance companies do not cover the gradual damage. This is because it is not easy to compensate for an issue that has been in existence for a while and has recently caught your attention. For example a leak behind a wall or appliance. The following are some of the gradual damage claims that insurance companies may deny:

  • Poor history of home repairs
  • Deteriorated electrical wiring
  • Housing repipes that cause leaks
  • Sewers outside of the structure
  • A deteriorating roof that needs repair
  • Corrosion, mold, or rot
  • Damaged caused by water seeping through the interior or exterior parts of the house
  • Leaking to floors, ceilings, and walls caused by deteriorated plumbing, facets, or pipes

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Mold & Natural Disasters:

  • Some insurance companies allow mold remediation coverage. Check with your insurance provider or agent to make sure that this is the case.
  • Natural disasters that cause water damage and results in poor original insurance coverage. Some insurance companies cover such instances. For example, if a tree falls on the roof of a house and damages the water system causes roof leaks. Then a few weeks after the repair of the flooded house, the home may develop a mold-related situation.

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Tips for Insurance & Claims

  1. Make sure that you keep the records of all the repairs and maintenance checks done by licensed local plumbers over the years. In any event, the insurance company will need this paperwork if you experience any loss due to a flooded house.
  2. Before you sign the contract for any insurance coverage, make sure that you have read all the policies, exclusions, and your duties as a homeowner. This will help you save on time by giving you some insight into the claims process.
  3. Make sure to seek the aid of a reputable Tallahassee plumber to help you in conducting home repairs and annual maintenance. In fact, schedule an annual routine checkup of your home plumbing system.
  4. Select an insurance company that has the best coverage for your needs. Additionally, make sure that you inquire about any other extra coverage that you can add to your policy.
  5. Shop around for insurance.  Although the process can be daunting and time-consuming, do not buy the first policy that sounds good. Spending time selecting the best policy for you can end up saving you time and money in the long run. The last thing you want to do is buy coverage from a company that will make the claims process a bigger headache than it needs to be.

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Never Forget the Flooded House & You Better Not Either!

In conclusion, it is best to sit down with a local professional whether it is a plumber or insurance agent. Don’t wait for a flooded house to have a plumber do a courtesy check if you need something repaired. In addition, speak to a local insurance agent about what is covered on your property. It’s a great habit to update insurance policies every year in the hurricane offseason. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to call our office to speak to a licensed Realtor. We will give you our honest opinion without any kind of sales pitch.

Interior Home Repairs: Check Important Items Around The Home

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Who wants to be a handyman for a day? Not I. If you are a homeowner it is advisable to keep up the interior home repairs of your property. Don’t wait to sell a home to start fixing these items as more damage can occur if years go by untended, and ultimately can drive up the cost of the repair. The real estate that sells most quickly in Tallahassee are the ones that show dedicated maintenance by their owners. House ownership is rewarding, and it involves consistent upkeeping of your property with regular maintenance.

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Becoming a handyman isn’t something many people look forward to. They feel they may have to have the proper skillset to do it. Furthermore, it does require an investment of time which can be quite costly. The internet is a great resource for the majority of minor repairs, there are many reputable blogs and YouTube videos that can help with these small repairs. You will see why making the commitment to ensure a preventative maintenance checklist is a must.

Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Here are some items you should check regularly on the interior of your residence to keep it in great condition:

1. HVAC & A/C Systems

If your home has central air conditioning or heating, or an HVAC system, you already know the air filters must be cleaned or changed regularly. Normally, there is quite a bit of moisture around the evaporator coils so these should be cleaned periodically. Doing so makes sure mold does not grow on the coils and ultimately blown into your ductwork and into your house. Check the furnace, the bathroom vents and the ductwork for a moldy smell and condensation. When in doubt hire a local A/C company, and you may want to consider purchasing an HVAC maintenance plan to relieve some of the burden of this maintenance.

2. Carbon Monoxide Detectors & Smoke Alarms

It’s easy to forget to check these little alarms, but they are one of the most crucial items to maintain in your home – especially in Florida! A faulty smoke detector can cause serious harm if it were to malfunction.  The biggest threat to people during a fire is smoke inhalation. A device should be placed in every bedroom, kitchen and hallways. Make sure to check and replace your alarm batteries and detectors as often as is necessary. The local fire inspector recommends to change out hard-wired alarms every 10 years. Also, if you hear them chirping replace the batteries in all of your devices as soon as possible.

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3. Water Heaters

Hater heaters can cost you time, money, and repairs. You need to test the pressure relief valve on your water heater frequently. Doing this monthly will allow you to quickly catch leaks and prevent a buildup of mineral sediments. Additionally, visually inspect for rust and corrosion. Automatic gas shut-off valves for gas-fired water heaters should be checked regularly. Contact a trusted, local Tallahassee plumber for questions or to perform a check before a flood happens.

4. Auto-Reverse Garage Door

If your garage door doesn’t auto-reverse when it hits an obstacle, then there’s a problem. Interior repairs need to always keep children in mind and safe. This could lead to child accidents and death. With this in mind, check electric sensors and clean of dust and obstacles.

5. Plumbing, Piping & Drain Clogs

Check for signs of leaks under sinks and on the wall. At the same time, check for drips on faucets and rust on the handle of your toilet water system. Fixing these will save you money on your water bill as well. Of course, if you find any water spots or drips hire a local Tallahassee plumber to get the problem fixed before mold and extensive water damage begins.

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6. Roof Leaks & Holes

If you can see a water spot on the ceiling then your many have a pipe leak or roof leak. Do not let this continue as it will get worse over time and may cause mold to grow. Instead, consult a local professional for a free estimate to get this fixed. Also, this is a must in interior home repairs and storms that hit Tallahassee, Florida!

7. Window Caulking & Door Seals

After a few years window caulking gets old and disintegrates from the elements and moisture. In addition, check the door weatherstripping for a good seal. Both can be easily replaced and will help to keep the cold out during the winter months, and the warm air out during the summer months.

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Interior Home Repairs & Preventative Maintenance

Lastly, it is certainly a good idea to have a plan in place with the help of a local professional to help with your interior repairs. Such synergy ensures that your property remains in top shape in keeping with local laws and keeping your property in perfect condition. Equally important, this simple maintenance also saves you money, as it guarantees that your home will keep running efficiently, thus increasing the resale value of the property. Again, we know trustworthy companies that will catch faults and damages before they get out of hand. Tallahassee Realtors should be proactive in discussing these items with you. If you need house maintenance services send us an email and we will get you in touch with a local home maintenance company.