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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 (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates).

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